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Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Launches Booking Promotion

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has launched the “Return with Regent” program that offers 50 percent reduced deposits and a $1,000 shipboard credit for new bookings made by July 31, 2020.

The offer includes “Regent Reassurance,” which allows guests to cancel their cruise for any reason up to 15 days before departure date and receive a 100 percent future cruise credit (FCC).

The “Return with Regent” program is applicable to all sailings through 2022, expanding the line’s “Cancel for Any Reason” policy to cover all destinations and voyages.

Travel advisors will earn a $100 gift card for every new deposited booking made by July 31, 2020. The gift card will be paid within 60 days of the end of the promotion, not after sailing. Eligible bookings must be registered here by Aug. 15, 2020.

Additionally, travel advisors and a companion have the chance to sail with the luxury line in a “Sell and Sail” incentive. Travel advisors who make two new bookings on 2020 voyages will earn a free 2020 cruise, while those who make three new bookings on 2021 or 2022 voyages will earn a free 2021 or 2022 cruise. Eligible bookings must be registered here by Aug. 15, 2020

“We have been astounded by the tenacity and resolve shown by the thousands of talented travel advisors over these difficult months and we are proud to work alongside them,” said Randall Soy, executive vice president-sales and marketing for Regent Seven Seas. “As we see the green shoots of recovery and consumer confidence in cruise begin to grow, we want to give our valued travel advisors the tools to capture every possible booking, as well as reward them for their fortitude and loyalty.”

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Cruises

MSC Cruises Extends Suspension of Operations Through July 10

MSC Cruises extended the halting of cruise operations globally through July 10 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

MSC Cruises USA is offering affected guests a future cruise credit for 125 percent of what they paid. It can be used on a future cruise, on any ship and itinerary, departing on or before Dec. 31, 2021.

In addition, MSC Cruises USA’s Cruise Assurance Program has recently been extended through Sept. 30, 2020. It allows guests who have a booked cruise or are booking a new cruise between July 11 through Sept. 30 to reschedule their cruise up to 48 hours before their cruise departure date.

Guests and their travel advisors can transfer any of these bookings at no cost to any ship and any itinerary in the MSC Cruises’ fleet, departing on or before Dec. 31, 2021.

The company previously announced the temporary halting of all its ships globally through to May 29.

For additional details, click here.

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Cruises

Over a Dozen Cruises Still Stranded at Sea

Since March 13, all cruise operations from U.S. ports have been suspended in a decision made responding to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, this left nearly 20 ships stranded at sea struggling to find a safe port.

In a statement to CNN, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) confirmed that about 5.4 percent of its fleet was still at sea.

Several of the stranded ships are currently carrying passengers. Zaandam of Holland America Line was denied by several ports after confirming that 73 guests and 116 crew members were experiencing influenza-like symptoms.

Healthy guests were transferred to the Rotterdam, and both ships are currently making their way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where they are expected to dock on March 30. Holland America Line has confirmed four deaths aboard Zaandam.

A majority of the ships are experiencing less panicked voyages than Zaandam, however, as many of them have had no reported cases of coronavirus.

These include Arcadia of P&O Cruises UK, Coral Princess and Pacific Princess of Princess Cruises, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 of Cunard, MSC Magnifica of MSC Cruises, Celebrity Eclipse of Celebrity Cruises and Columbus and Vasco de Gama of Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

The ships are all currently en route to different ports that have permitted them to dock.

Some ships that are still at sea were at least able to evacuate their passengers before setting sail once again. These include Costa Magica and Costa Favolosa of Costa Cruises, Azura of P&O Cruise UK and Hanseatic Nature and Europa of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

Several crew members aboard Costa Magica and Costa Favolosa have tested positive for coronavirus.

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Cruises

Couple Cruises From Home After Voyage Canceled

The temporary shutdown of the cruise industry has ruined vacations for many travelers, but one couple decided to make the best of a bad situation.

According to the New York Post, Norma and Dave Trill of Melbourne, Australia, were scheduled to sail on a 10-day cruise for their 53rd wedding anniversary, but the voyage was canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

While the 74-year-olds may have been forced to stay home and celebrate in isolation, the duo decided to turn a negative into a positive. Wearing bathrobes and sunglasses, Norma and Dave drank wine and stared at an ocean view playing on their television.

The couple’s daughter Jane shared a video of the pair relaxing at home with two rolls of toilet paper, a Minion wearing sunglasses and a bottle of hand sanitizer to really give them the full cruise experience.

“They canceled their trip due to the coronavirus and we thought we would cheer them up by simulating the trip using a YouTube video of the ocean and they dressed in their usual cruising attire,” Jane told the New York Post. “We laughed for ages over it and it really lifted our spirits. [We were] rolling on the floor laughing.”

Despite the trip’s cancellation, the Trill family made the most of the situation and can be seen in the video clinking glasses and enjoying their time. The video’s description said, “Cruise cancelled? No problem.”

Since posting, the Facebook post has received thousands of views and plenty of support from travelers also impacted by the viral outbreak. Other social media users have followed suit and started posting images and videos of vacations taken from their homes.

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Cruises

Windstar Cruises Pauses Ship Operations Worldwide

Small-ship operator Windstar Cruises will temporarily suspend operations worldwide for cruises embarking March 14 through April 30, 2020, due to the unpredictable environment surrounding the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

“After much thought, we believe we are making the most responsible decision we can during this coronavirus pandemic,” said Christopher Prelog, COO of Windstar Cruises.

“This worldwide pause in the operation of our fleet of small ships is an effort to curb the spread of the virus and keep our guests, crew and the communities we visit, safe and healthy. We look forward to resuming operations again on May 1 with a return to offering our 180 degrees from ordinary vacation experience.”

The company said it expects cruises will begin operating again according to schedule on May 1, 2020.

Guests on canceled cruises will receive the choice of a future cruise credit valued at 125 percent of all monies paid or a refund equal to the amount paid. Guests will have 24 months to rebook on any Windstar cruise. Windstar Cruises will protect travel advisor commissions on the affected bookings.

Windstar’s reservations team is reviewing all affected bookings and will send a letter outlining details to affected guests and travel advisors.

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