SEATTLE, March 13, 2020 /CNW/ -- Due to the continued port closures and travel restrictions surrounding COVID-19 and in an abundance of caution, Holland America Line has made the decision to voluntarily pause global cruise operations of its 14 ships for 30 days, impacting sailings scheduled to depart through April 14, 2020.
"These are unprecedented times, and while no guests or crew have tested positive for COVID-19 on any of our ships, we must take a leadership position as a global citizen and ensure that we are doing everything we can to help stabilize the situation," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "We know this decision will be disappointing and also inconvenience guests currently in transit, and for that we sincerely apologize. All of us at Holland America Line are fully committed to supporting all our guests through this change.
"Holland America Line operates 14 ships on all seven continents and we thank all of our guests, travel advisor partners, employees and business partners for their support during this challenging time," added Ashford. "We look forward to welcoming our guests back on board soon."
Three cruises that were scheduled to depart this weekend are now cancelled. Booked guests and their travel advisors are in the process of being notified. Guests on these three cruises cancelled this weekend will receive a 100% refund and 100% Future Cruise Credit.
The cancelled cruises are:
Oosterdam: originally scheduled to embark Saturday, March 14 in San Diego, California.
Nieuw Amsterdam: originally scheduled to embark Saturday, March 14 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Koningsdam: originally scheduled to embark Sunday, March 15, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Any guests on back-to-back cruises beyond the dates above will now need to disembark the ship.
Other voyages that are currently in progress are planned to debark as follows:
Eurodam:March 18 in San Diego, California, as scheduled.
Veendam:March 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
Zuiderdam:March 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
Maasdam:March 20 in Hilo, Hawaii. This is a change from the scheduled disembarkation in San Diego, California, on April 3.
Zaandam:March 21 in San Antonio, Chile as scheduled.
Volendam:March 22 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
Amsterdam:March 24 in Freemantle, Australia. This is a change from the scheduled disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on May 12.
Rotterdam:March 27 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
Any guests on back-to-back cruises beyond the dates above will need to disembark.
Ships not currently in service due to previous cancellations are: Nieuw Statendam, Noordam and Westerdam.
Guests who have booked their own air should first contact their airline to make ticket changes. Holland America Line will rebook all guests who purchased their air through the Flight Ease program and will endeavor to help others who booked their own air if they are encountering issues.
Guests currently booked on cruises beyond this weekend that will now not be operating will receive a communication from Holland America Line in the coming days regarding their options.
To fully support guests on the cruises that were cancelled for this weekend and who are in transit, Holland America Line kindly requests that all those booked on cruises next week or later do not call reservations for assistance this weekend as hold times are expected to be very long. The line will be automatically working through the bookings of all impacted guests based on departure date and will send communications in the coming week regarding their options. We sincerely thank everyone for their patience and understanding.
Recognizing the vital role travel advisors play in the success of the cruise industry, Holland America Line will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the Future Cruise Credits when guests rebook.
Holland America Line's corporate employees remain working and will focus on supporting guests and travel advisors impacted by these changes and preparing for cruise operations to resume. As more details become known about future cruise itineraries, they will be communicated.