MSC Cruises has extended its fleetwide cancellations through May 29 as it becomes clearer that the coronavirus-outbreak” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>COVID-19 crisis will not be abating any time soon, and also emphasized that it is supporting travel advisors by vowing to protect their commissions on original and rescheduled Future Cruise Credit bookings.
The recently created MSC Cruise Assurance Program has likewise been extended, enabling guests who are booked for sailings on or before September 30, 2020, to cancel or reschedule their reservations up to 48 hours prior to their scheduled departure.
— Ken Muskat (@KenMuskat) April 4, 2020
For newly impacted guests who opted into the Cruise Assurance Program, MSC will be offering the same options as those provided when the temporary suspension of sailings was initially announced.
They can choose to either receive a full refund equal to the original amount paid or 125-percent Future Cruise Credit on the original cruise fare paid, to be used on any sailing departing on or before December 31, 2021.
Supplying an incentive for prospective cruise-goers to make future reservations, MSC is offering a reduced deposit amount of just $49 per person all new bookings made between April 6 and June 30, 2020.
New MSC itineraries are already open for booking, tempting travelers to make future plans to get away from the ordinary.
— MSC Seashore, the carrier’s new Seaside Evo Class mega-ship, will debut in June 2021 and spend its inaugural season in the Mediterranean before sailing to Miami in November 2021, to begin offering seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, featuring stops at the exclusive Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve private island.
— MSC Divina begins its Winter season in New York during September and October of 2021 with new itineraries that feature two-day stays in Bermuda, visits to Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, and ports of call in New England and Canada.
— MSC Meraviglia will remain in North America year-round, beginning September 2020, offering seven-night Caribbean sailing from Miami, with additional Western Caribbean itineraries planned for the Winter 2021-22 season.
— MSC Armonia will transfer from Miami to Tampa in November 2020 and add Progreso, Mexico, which promises sightings of exotic pink flamingos, as a new port of call to its itinerary.
For more information, visit msccruisesusa.com.
Comments & Discussion
American Queen Outlines Revised Schedule to Resume Cruising
“AQSC’s new timeline was prepared in response to the evolving nature of the Covid-19 pandemic and following the continued widespread governmental restrictions across ports, cities and public institutions,” the company said in a news release.
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The decision also follows the company’s new partnership with Ochsner Health.
“Our recent partnership with Ochsner Health, in addition to our enhanced health and safety protocols and easy access to U.S. healthcare facilities, allows us to responsibly and safely resume operations in our two key markets, the Pacific Northwest and the Lower and Upper Mississippi River,” said John Waggoner, founder and CEO of AQSC.
Here is the plan for resuming service.
The American Empress, which sails the Columbia and Snake rivers, will resume operating with the July 6-13 “Pacific Northwest Splendors” sailing from Portland (Vancouver, Wash.) to Spokane (Clarkston, Wash.).
The American Duchess, which sails on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers, would resume sailing with the July 20-27 “Mark Twain’s Mississippi” sailing from St. Louis, Mo. to Red Wing, Minn.
The American Countess, the newest paddlewheeler to join the AQSC fleet on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers, and the iconic American Queen, will extend suspensions through July 15, 2020. AQSC is reviewing specific restart dates and will announce both vessels’ debut itineraries in the coming weeks.
For those impacted by the extended suspensions, AQSC is contacting all guests and travel agents. The company will provide a future cruise credit for 125 percent of the cruise fare or a full refund. Any future cruise credits issued may be returned at any time for a refund of the original payment amount. All full refunds will be processed within 90 days.
For a full overview of the new health and safety protocols, click here.
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