Celestyal Cruises, operating two ships out of Piraeus, announced it was suspending all voyages until May 1, following advice from the World Health Organisation and “to reduce the risk of quarantine or medical detentions for our guests and crew”.
“We plan to recommence from May 1 with our three-night Iconic Aegean on Celestyal Olympia and May 2 with the seven-night Eclectic Aegean on Celestyal Crystal, as scheduled,” the company said in a statement.
“This action is as a result of the unavoidable circumstances arising out of the continued spread of COVID-19 and increased government advisories and restrictions from all over the world prohibiting guests from leaving and re-entering their home countries,” it said.
This follows similar announcements by other cruise companies, including Princess Cruises, that announced on Thursday it was suspending all trips onboard its 18-strong fleet to May 12, while allowing passengers to complete their voyages already underway.
On the other hand, Essex-based Cruise & Maritime Voyages, owner of the Marco Polo with 1,000 passengers and crew who were not allowed to disembark in Limassol after a passenger was suspected of having coronavirus, has decided to brave the crisis and keep all its six cruise ships in operation, offering generous discounts of 60-75% on forthcoming trips.
Celestyal, the successor of Louis Cruise Lines that used to operate Mediterranean itineraries out of Limassol, returned to the Cyprus market last year, as cruise interest to the island was revived after a decade’s lull. The number of all cruise ships stopping over in Cyprus ports had been expected to double.
To compensate for the loss, Celestyal said it was offering a refund or higher credit if passenger re-booked on future voyages.
“For all named and fully-paid guests impacted by this temporary suspension, we will offer the choice of either a future cruise credit valued at 120% of original booking value or a refund of the original amount paid,” it said.
“Guests will have until the end of December 2021 to use their future cruise credit against any of our itineraries. For additional flexibility, anyone that has not used their future cruise credit within the specified period will automatically receive a refund equal to the original amount paid to Celestyal.”
The suspended Celestyal voyages are:
- 7-Night Three Continents: March 14, 21 and 28
- 7-Night Eclectic Aegean: April 4, 11, 18 and 25
- 3 and 4-Night Iconic Aegean: March 16 till April 30