CRUISE lines and airlines are moving swiftly to implement no cancellation fee policies in the wake of the coronavirus.
Norwegian Cruise Line has a new Peace of Mind policy, offering guests who book voyages through until the end of September the opportunity to cancel up to 48 hours prior to the sail date and receive a 100 per cent future cruise credit. This can be used on any sailings through until the end of December 2022.
The new offer applies to all new guests as well as those already booked on voyages beginning March 10.
FOR its guests currently booked on upcoming cruises, Holland America Line is allowing them to cancel their cruise or Alaska Land+Sea Journey departing through to the end of May.
Any cancellation will receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for the amount of the paid fare which can be used for another cruise, either this year or next. The cancellation must be made with a minimum of 72 hours in advance of departure date but no later than March 31. The FCC must then be booked by December 31 this year.
For guests who choose to keep their cruise plans on departures through May 31, an Onboard Spending Credit will be automatically applied to their shipboard account as a thank you.
The cruise line said it recognised that some people have specific individual health situations that impact their ability to safely travel at the moment. Those that can provide supporting documents from their health care provider will be issued with a Future Cruise Credit. This Compassion Policy offer is available for guests booked on any sailing, regardless of departure date.
Holland America Line also is offering a new Book with Confidence program that allows for cruise and Land+Sea Journey cancellation. Guests who make a new booking by April 30 for itineraries that depart on or before October 15 can cancel for any reason and receive a FCC in the amount of any cancellation fees applied. The cancellation must be made up to 30 days before departure.
GUESTS on Silverseas' cruises departing before July 31 now have the option of cancelling their voyage as late as 48 hours prior to sailing.
Silversea's cancellation policy promises guests long-term peace of mind on all sailings departing between June and December this year, while its 'Cruise with Confidence' policy covers upcoming voyages in the coming weeks.
A spokesperson for Silversea said the cruise line appreciated how the fluid Covid-19 situation required unprecedented flexibility in booking and cancelling voyages. He said it was important guests made the right choice for them at the right time.
For all voyages departing before July 31, including both existing and future bookings, the new 'Cruise with Confidence' policy will enable travellers to cancel their sailings as late as two days before departure. Guests will be provided with a Future Cruise Credit. For all sailings departing after that date until December 31, a 30-day prior to sailing cash cancellation option will be in place. Guests booked on sailings between June 1 and July 31 have a range of options from which to choose.
Meanwhile Qatar Airways has launched a new policy offering passengers more flexibility to change their travel plans. Passengers that have booked or will book flights for travel up to June 30 this year will be offered the flexibility to change their travel plans free of charge by altering the dates of their booking or exchanging their ticket for a travel voucher valid for one year. Both changes must be done at least three days prior to departure.
A spokesperson said the policy was designed to provide Qatar Airways' passengers with confidence and peace of mind when booking flights in light of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its impact on global travel. It is valid for fares purchased either directly from the airline or through travel agents.