SINGAPORE - Cruise lines with ships operating Asia itineraries have been scrambling this month to reroute their ships because of the coronavirus outbreak in China.
All cruise ships are skipping ports in China, while some are also avoiding other ports in Asia like Singapore and Japan.
Princess cancelled all Diamond Princess departures through March 12; all Sapphire Princess cruises, departing various ports in Asia, through June 11; and all Majestic Princess sailings, mostly from Taipei, through April 2.
The Sapphire Princess will redeploy from China to Australia six months earlier than previously planned, with 44 new cruises from five major cities. The ship had been scheduled to be based in Shanghai from July through October.
The ship will arrive in Australia six-months earlier than planned and will leave from five major cities with its Greatest Hits program which highlights some of the country’s favourite cruise ports.
On sale from Thursday February 27, Sapphire Princess’ year-long programme will include 171 port calls including an inaugural Australia circumnavigation voyage sailing Adelaide roundtrip with similar options from Fremantle and Sydney and 19 maiden calls along Western Australia’s coast including Geraldton and Exmouth.
Sapphire Princess will arrive into Perth (Fremantle) following a multi-million-dollar refurbishment.
Dream Cruises is voluntarily suspended Genting Dream’s operations from Singapore from Sunday, February 23 until Friday, March 27.
“Dream Cruises has made the difficult decision to suspend it operations from Singapore as a measure to help curtail the spread of COVID-19 and as a result of the tightening travel restrictions that have been enacted by various countries,” said Michael Goh, president, Dream Cruises.
“Guests who are booked on any of the cancelled itineraries will be contacted and provided with a variety of compensation options including to defer their cruise to a future sailing or, if needed, to cancel their cruise for a full refund.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said it its brands were offering complimentary cruises to emergency responders in Australia and the U.S. using ships that were previously scheduled to sail in China and Asia, the Spectrum of the Seas and the Celebrity Millennium. The Spectrum is being deployed to Australia and the Millennium to the West Coast of the U.S.
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean cancelled two sailings on the Quantum of the Seas that were due to depart Singapore this month, one on Feb. 15 and the other Feb. 24.
Celebrity also made changes to the Celebrity Constellation's itinerary on its upcoming March 2 and 17 sailings, replacing its embarkation and disembarkation in Singapore with Dubai.
The Feb. 15 departure of Silversea's Silver Spirit was changed from Hong Kong to Manila. The rest of the itinerary remains the same.
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Australia said its South Pacific cruises on the Carnival Splendor and Carnival Spirit that were scheduled to call at the islands of Lifou, Mare or Isle of Pines in New Caledonia are instead visiting ports in Vanuatu, because New Caledonia has temporarily declined cruise ship visits.
Cunard changed the itinerary for the both the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth. The Queen Mary 2 skipped its call in Singapore last week and instead diverted to Western Australia, docking in the city of Fremantle on Feb. 18.
The ship has sailed to Darwin and Yorkeys Knob, Australia, before resuming its originally scheduled itinerary from Airlie Beach. The Queen Elizabeth is no longer calling at Hong Kong on March 31 or Shanghai on April 4.
Seabourn cancelled the Feb. 29 Seabourn Ovation cruise, which was scheduled to depart Singapore on a 14-day round trip cruise. The line had originally moved its embarkation from Hong Kong to Singapore.
Costa's three ships that were offering cruises from China - the Costa Atlantica, Costa Venezia and Costa Serena - have suspended operations through March.
Holland America Line
Holland America Line has cancelled all Asia cruises of Westerdam remaining in the season. On its website, Holland America said, “Given the fluidity of changing restrictions in the region we are not confident we would be able to deliver the cruise experience our guests expect and that we strive to deliver.” Affected cruises are these:
Mar. 14–28, 14-day South Korea and Japan, sailing roundtrip Yokohama, Japan.
March 28–April 11, 14-day Japan Explorer, sailing roundtrip Yokohama.
April 11–25, 14-day Japan and Russia, sailing roundtrip Yokohama.
April 25–May 10, 16-day North Pacific Crossing, sailing Yokohama to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian cancelled all of the Norwegian Spirit's Asia itineraries from April 15 through December. The line also cancelled the Norwegian Jade's Feb. 17 cruise from Singapore. Norwegian Spirit will sail the eastern Mediterranean in place of its cancelled Asia season.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has cancelled three voyages on Seven Seas Voyager and modified itineraries on two voyages on Seven Seas Mariner. Following these changes, Regent will not have any vessels deployed in Asia until December 2020.
Oceania cancelled all of its sailings in Asia through June on its Nautica and Insignia ships. The Nautica departures are cancelled from March 4 to May 1 from Singapore and Tokyo and the Insignia sailings were to operate from April 9 to June 11 in various Asian ports.
MSC altered the itinerary of the March 21 to April 18 MSC Bellissima Grand Voyage to Asia to bypass ports in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
This report was updated Feb. 24 with new information about cancellations and repositionings.
Compiled by Travel Weekly’s international editorial team.