Greek cruise operator Celestyal Cruises announced its decision to extend the suspension of all its cruises until March 6, 2021, the company said on Tuesday. The Athens-based Cruises company, which specializes in the Greek Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean, originally suspended sailings in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which prompted ongoing travel restrictions and temporary port closures. In a May announcement it had said that it would suspend operations until July 30, 2020.
In a statement, Celestyal Cruises CEO Chris Theofilidis said that the suspension decision was “difficult but prudent.”
He added that “the vast majority of our passengers come from distant countries such as North and South America, Asia, Japan, Australia, where coronavirus restrictions and travel bans are currently in effect.”
“As the core of our season runs from the spring through the autumn, we were optimistic that we would be able to resume our cruise operations later this summer,” said Leslie Peden, chief commercial officer for Celestyal Cruises, in a press statement.
“However, given the prevailing uncertainty regarding travel restrictions through the balance of our operating season from our largest international source markets coupled with the continuing discussions at the European Union level regarding the enhanced health protocols that will apply to EU cruise operations, we made the difficult but prudent decision to postpone resuming cruise operations until the scheduled start of our normal spring season next year.”
The Cruise line is offering impacted guests a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) valued at 120 percent of original booking value that they can redeem until December 31, 2021 on any sailing through the end of December 2022.
If passengers don’t redeem their FCC by the end of December 2021, they will automatically receive a full refund equal to the original amount paid.