Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Carnival Cruise Line are abandoning plans to resume cruising this spring. The three major cruise operators, along with the fourth-largest carrier, MSC Cruises, have canceled most – if not all – of their journeys until June at the earliest.
Major Cruise Lines Nix Early Start Date for Return Voyages
Cruises are a vital part of the travel industry, with millions of Americans beginning journeys from ports every year. Now, Norwegian Cruise Line, a Miami, FL-based cruise operator, is balking at resuming trips until at least July.
Of the other top five leading cruise lines globally, only Princess Cruise Lines is still planning on operating some of its voyages in May and June – with only some cancellations. MSC Cruises, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean have all canceled their May trips, intending to resume some June services.
COVID Pandemic Continuing to Harm Cruise Industry
Cruises were hit especially hard during the coronavirus pandemic, with most consumers wary of the close quarters found on ships. Some of the earliest outbreaks of the virus also occurred on boats, particularly in Caribbean cruises, in the early days of the pandemic last spring.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initially cleared the way for cruise lines to resume operations in October, but additional surges in COVID-19 infection rates have continued to sour demand from would-be passengers.
Cruise Line Credit Cards
While an overlooked style of rewards credit card, cruise rewards credit cards offer exceptional value to the regular voyager. Nearly every major cruise operator has its own co-branded credit card, including Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, and Norwegian Cruise Line.
These cards offer savings on purchases via rewards programs, with points applying to free nights on ships, discounted fares, and onboard savings. Many of these cruise line credit cards also feature no annual fees and do not charge foreign transaction fees.
A selection of current cruise line credit cards includes: