Cruising isn’t for everyone. In my opinion, it’s often a “love it or hate it” scenario. But close to 30 million people, mostly Americans, decided to cruise in 2019, and some are projecting even higher numbers for 2021, despite the Covid pandemic. Some of this has to do with rescheduling from 2020 cancellations, but there are plenty of new bookings. Travelers just miss the convenience, amenities and relative “all-inclusiveness” that cruising has to offer.
On Oct. 31, the CDC lifted it’s “No Sail” order for cruise ships with 250 passengers or more, departing from or entering US ports. It was replaced with a “Framework for Conditional Sailing Order” providing phased in safety requirements in addition to a documented plan of hygiene and cleaning protocols:
build lab capacity (at terminal or onboard) to test crew members and future passengers
show proof of the ability to test, social distance, quarantine and isolate if needed
perform “mock voyages” with volunteers playing the role of passengers to test virus mitigation strategies
Only once these requirements have been met, will these ships be certified to sail again.
So what does this mean?
Most, if not all, sailings have been cancelled through 2020 & early 2021, as cruise lines work to revamp their ships.
It’s still not clear how long it will take to complete the necessary phases.
In response, cruise lines are thinking ahead and have posted their itineraries for 2022 and some for 2023.
Sailings for 2022 are already starting to fill up! (Regent Cruises announced their recent launch of 2022-2023 itineraries was the largest booking day in their history!)
Cruise ships will likely be the safest they’ve ever been.
Cruise lines are currently offering precedent-setting enticements for future bookings.
More liberal and flexible Cancellation and Change policies
Ships in dry dock are being repurposed, renovated and new ships are waiting for their inaugural sailings, which are likely to be heavily promoted.
(current promotions as of this writing)
HOLLAND AMERICA (mainstream)
“Holland America Line has been named Number One for cruises to Alaska, the Mexican Riviera, and the Panama Canal & Central America in Cruise Critic’s 2019 Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards—and we couldn't be more thrilled.”
Have It All Sale (time limited): included alcohol package, specialty dining package, room gratuities, premium Wi-Fi and 50% reduced deposit
Flexible Cancellation policy for 100% Future Cruise Credit or upgrade to “Cancel for Any Reason” travel protection for 80-90% refund up to 24hrs before departure
Many of their ships include the exclusive “Music Walk”, a collection of 5 venues featuring live music: Rolling Stone Rock Room, Lincoln Center Stage, BB King’s Blues Club & more
VIKING CRUISES (premium) - Inaugural Sailings 2022-2023
"Travel + Leisure named Viking the Best five years in a row"
Brand new, state of the art ships built and outfitted exclusively for expedition cruising, but with luxury & comfort in mind
realizing domestic demand – new itineraries to The Great Lakes & Canada
Enjoy a more active experience: zodiac (rigid inflatable boats) landings to areas otherwise inaccessible, hiking, kayaking and underwater submarines.
Expeditions also available to the Caribbean, Brazil’s coastline & Norway’s Northern Isles, the Arctic & Antarctica
early booking savings on cruise and airfare
Risk Free Guarantee (time limited): cancel up to 24hrs before departure and receive 100% future credit for 2 years, credit transferable to others
New river boat inaugural sailings 2022-2023
several itineraries anywhere from Minnesota to New Orleans (Gulf of Mexico)
Immerse yourself in the region's rich history and culture with an included excursion in every port.
same early booking savings and Risk Free Guarantee
One of the ultimate in small ship cruising
“ Named Best Small Ship Cruise line for 12 years by Condé Nast Traveler ”
smaller ships, fewer passengers, max 600 passengers, many ships with 400 or less
luxury all-inclusive: personal butler service for each cabin/ suite, all beverages including premium alcohol (your personal mini bar stocked daily with your favorites), gourmet dining with “open seat” policy, all gratuities
reduced single supplements
Hotel & Air packages (time limited): selected sailings with included economy air, reduced business class air, included pre-cruise hotel and private transfers
Double Bonus (by Dec 14): $1000 shipboard credit, $1000 reduced deposit
Cruise with Confidence (up to Dec 31): cancel within 30 days of sailing and receive 100% Future Cruise Credit, good for 2 years and transferable to others
These promotions will be running out soon, but there are always others to take their place. And so many other cruise lines to choose from, one for every age, interest, destination and budget. I’ve got the scoop! And I, as your Virtuoso advisor, can get you extra amenities, arrange private shore excursions and handle all the details of your trip.
Cruises will be back! The questions is … will there be any space left by the time you book?
Contact me now to take advantage of these promotions,
or for more information.