Coronavirus: Cruise, Travel, Health and Safety FAQs
Updated: Monday 25th January 2021, 12:22pm
- Before your cruise
- During your cruise
I haven’t heard anything from you, should I get in touch?
If you have heard in the news, or from the cruise line that your cruise has been cancelled, we will be in touch - we are working through bookings in departure date order and will contact you as soon as we can.
If there has been a major change, such as a change to your arrival or departure point, we will be in touch, again we are working through these in departure date order. If the cruise line has advised you about flexible cancellation charges and you wish to change your holiday, transfer to a later date or rebook, please call on 02038483730
How can I get in touch with you?
If you want to change sailings or your cruise was cancelled and you wish to rebook, please call us on 02038483730
For any general queries, amendments to existing bookings and sailings not affected by the Coronavirus, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I cancel my cruise up to 24 hours beforehand?The exact timeframe you have to cancel an existing booking and rebook an alternative cruise depends on numerous factors such as which cruise line you are sailing with, when, and what kind of package you have. Please see our flexible cancellations page for more details of your options by cruise line.
I'm travelling in a couple of months but am happy to wait and see what happens. Should I contact you in the meantime?
We are constantly updating our policies and procedures as the situation evolves. We will continue to monitor your holiday and contact you as soon as we receive communication from the cruise line that your holiday has been affected. We are currently handling a much higher than usual volume of enquiries, we are prioritising customers with the nearest sailing dates to reduce the impact on customers' travel plans. In the meantime, you may find your query answered on one of our dedicated coronavirus info pages, which are regularly updated.
My travel date is outside of the revised T&Cs from the cruise lines. What are my options?
If your departure date is currently outside of the cruise lines revised terms and conditions, their standard terms and conditions including cancellation policy will apply. You can check to see updates on the cruise line’s own websites on our cruise line travel updates page.
If my cruise is cancelled, what are my options when picking an alternative cruise at a later date?
If you have been issued a cash refund, we are able to transfer this money to a booking with any other cruise line. If you have been issued a FCC, you can only use this on the cruise line that has issued this, again, you can check your cruise options on our website. To view all the cruise deals we currently offer as well as the ability to filter by cruise line, destination and date, please see our cruise deals pages.
When will cruises resume again?
While the expected date of resumption of cruises depends on each cruise line, you can find out about cancelled cruise dates for both ocean and river cruises here. In the meantime, you can see which river cruise lines have started sailing again here.
What is FCC and how does it work?
FCC stands for Future Cruise Credit. In the case of cruises being cancelled due to the Coronavirus the cruise lines are offering FCC you can put towards a different sailing later on. This is often a greater amount than the fare of your previous booking as a goodwill gesture and balancing out the often slightly higher prices of cruises available to book in the longer term than last minute ones. For more information on the FCC your cruise line is offering, please see our cancelled cruises and flexible cancellations guides.
What is OBC and how does it work?
OBC is Onboard Credit. This is added to your onboard account as spending money you can use during your cruise holiday for onboard services and entertainment such as drinks, spa treatments or shore excursions. This can only be used for purchases once onboard and not be used beforehand to upgrade your booking such as cabin upgrades. For information on each cruise line’s applicable OBC policies, please see our cancelled cruises and flexible cancellations guides.
If I choose to be refunded, but then change my mind and decide I want a Future Cruise Credit instead, can I do this?
Yes, as long as the refund hasn’t been processed, we can change the compensation offer back to a Future Cruise Credit for the amount paid toward your cruise fare.
If I cancel my cruise, will the usual £25 cancellation charge be added?
If your sailing has not been cancelled by the cruise line and you cancel your booking as per standard terms and conditions, the standard £25pp cancellation fee would apply. If the cruise line has cancelled the sailing and you were offered full refund or FCC, £25pp is not applicable. Also, if you cancel your current reservation and rebook/transfer to a later date, we would not apply our cancellation fee for the original booking.
I'm not travelling in the next few weeks, but I would like to speak to someone about my booking as I am scared about travelling or being out of pocket. What should I do?
Please email us at email@example.com and one of our dedicated team will get in touch with you to discuss your options. At the moment we are only advising you to call us if your booking has been affected by Covid-19 and you were due to depart in the next month. If you do not hear from us straight away, don’t worry, we are simply working through our affected customers based on departure date priority. During the coronavirus crisis, this is a significant number of people so please bear with us if not contacted immediately.
Before you cruise
Will I be able to cruise if I haven't had the COVID-19 vaccine?
Saga Cruises has announced that only those guests who have received both doses of their COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to sailing will be able to cruise. However, it is not known whether this will become a more widespread cruise line policy.
Do I need Travel Insurance for Coronavirus?
Our recommended travel insurance provider is Holiday Extras who have recently updated their policies to cover Coronavirus Travel Insurance . Many cruise lines also include coronavirus cruise insurance policies as part of the booking, should you fall ill. Remember, your package with us is fully ABTA and ATOL protected and all money secured, in the event of your cruise being cancelled.
I'm over 70 or have an underlying health condition, and the government has advised against travel. If I can’t travel, will I get a full refund?
Many cruise lines are advising against or stopping people over 70 or with previous health complications from sailing. As a result, cruise lines have introduced a temporary, highly Flexible Cancellation and Transfer Policies which will allow customers to cancel in return for either a refund, in the form of FCC or cash depending on the cruise line and the original departure date, or transfer their holiday to an alternative date in future without any transfer fees. The exact details vary between lines so we advise you to see our cruise line travel updates guide for more information or the dedicated government help page.
I've been in close contact with someone who has symptoms of Covid-19. Should I travel?
No, please do not travel in this instance and contact 111 immediately. Your health and safety is our utmost priority. Do let us know as soon as possible via 02393277933, and we will contact the cruise line for further guidance.
How do I know which ports, airports and countries have been affected?
You can see the latest information on how countries have individually been affected by the coronavirus via the World Health Organisation’s official website
During your cruise
Are cruise ships safe?
What cruise lines are doing to ensure guests’ health and safety in the aftermath of Coronavirus
Cruise lines already boast extremely high levels of hygiene and health and safety procedures as standard to ensure your holiday is as safe as possible. With the outbreak of Covid-19 these already stringent measures have been enhanced in accordance with the World Health Organization and local governments’ guidelines to adapt to the current global situation. Typical expanded measures include the testing of guests and crew, updated air filtration systems, social distancing throughout, the conversion of buffet-style dining venues, new medical facilities and staff training, and further cleaning and fogging measures. Each cruise line has their own policies which can be viewed in more detail:
- American Queen Steamboat Company
- APT River Cruises
- Aurora Expeditions
- Avalon Waterways
- Azamara Cruises
- Carnival Cruises
- Costa Cruises
- Crystal River Cruises
- Emerald Waterways
- Fred. Olsen
- Great Rail Journeys
- Holland America Line
- Marella Cruises
- MSC Cruises
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Paul Gauguin Cruises
- P&O Cruises
- Ponant Cruises
- Princess Cruises
- Regent Seven Seas
- Riviera Travel
- Royal Caribbean
- TUI River Cruises
- Virgin Voyages
- Windstar Cruises
What if someone gets ill while I’m on a cruise?
While we hope this will never be the case, it’s possible someone will fall ill at any point during your cruise. Cruise lines hold the health, safety and hygiene of their guests and staff as top priority as standard. Each ship has an onboard physician and medical centre that you must contact immediately should you begin to feel unwell.
If it becomes apparent someone on your cruise ship has the coronavirus specifically, as has been in the news previously, the ship will not enter ports and guests will be told to self isolate in their cabins until testing and repatriation measures can be carried out.
What happens if someone onboard has the coronavirus and I have to be quarantined on the ship?
If you are made to quarantine yourself in your cabin, we will be in touch with you immediately. We will of course get you home as quickly and as safely as we can but please take note that we will need to act on the advice of the cruise line and local port authorities. This could be a lengthy process and you may be onboard for significantly longer than your planned sailing dates.
What happens if we get turned away from all the ports of call?
Cruise ships being unable to dock due to unforeseen circumstances can happen at any time. If it becomes apparent too many ports are closing than to continue with your itinerary, your ship will take you to the best available port to carry out the repatriation of all guests. In some cases this may simply be going back to the port of origin or alternatively arranging flights and transfers back home from a different open port. In exceptional circumstances, if there is no availability of commercial flights or there are airport lockdowns preventing your repatriation, cruise lines will look at organising charter flights as well as potentially arranging special flights with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. We will work closely with the cruise line in allowing you to disembark and return home as quickly and safely as possible and you will be kept updated and aware of your options throughout the process while onboard.
What happens if I fly out and then my cruise is cancelled?
Our team will be in touch as a matter of urgency and will make the necessary arrangements to look after you while overseas and in order to get you home, such as accommodation, transfers and flights.
What measures are cruise lines taking to ensure no one onboard potentially spreads the virus?
The exact steps taken to combat the coronavirus getting onboard cruise ships varies by line but in most circumstances the following procedures are being carried out.
Examples of extra preventive measures include the refusal of anyone to board who:
- Shows signs of the virus such as difficulty breathing, high temperature
- Has come into contact with someone who has had the virus
- Has been to a high-risk region on lockdown
What screening precautions are taking place at airports and ports?
This differs from country to country and depends on airport and port authorities. Temperature checks have been introduced in many airports. To check for a specific airport, port or country’s exact and up-to-date information, we recommend you check their official website.
Can the cruise lines guarantee my safety onboard
Rest assured, cruise lines are taking this situation exceptionally seriously and are working tirelessly to protect their guests' safety when onboard. In addition to their already numerous and detailed precautions to maintain the health and safety of all their guests and staff, the cruise lines have added further precautionary measures during these times. This could result in some guests not being allowed to board or the sailings being cancelled. As a result, we advise you to check your specific cruise line’s measures here on our cruise line travel updates page as well as the government's official cruise travel guide.