Celestyal Cruises announced that it is to extend the suspension of its sailings until June 29 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the first cruise on that date being the four-night Iconic Aegean sailing round trip from Piraeus.
This follows the cruise company’s earlier announcement on March 13, saying 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” following the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We understand the inconvenience this will cause and apologise to our valued guests. However, as I’m sure they will understand, we have taken these necessary steps for the well-being of both our guests and our crew,” said Leslie Peden, Celestyal’s Chief Commercial Officer.
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 individual guests impacted by this suspension, Celestyal said it is offering a future cruise credit valued at 120% of the original booking value. Guests will have until the end of December 2021 to redeem their credit against Celestyal cruises in 2020, 2021 and 2022, extending the credit beyond what was first announced in early March.
The company added that guests who have not used their future cruise credit within the specified period, will automatically receive a refund equal to the original amount paid to Celestyal upon expiration of credit voucher in December 2021.
Celestyal also said it will automatically send the future cruise credit voucher directly to guests or their travel professional, thus avoiding calls to the contact centre.
The company said it has also extended it’s “Peace of Mind” policy for sailings departing untill December 31, 2020. Guests can change their sail date up to seven days before departure for sailings between June 29 and August 31. For departures between September 1 and December 31, guests will be able to change their plans up to 30 days before sailing date, having until December 31, 2022 to reschedule.
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.