Royal Caribbean International has canceled most cruises through May 31, 2021, the line announced Tuesday.
All cruises, with the exception of Quantum of the Seas sailings from Singapore, China sailings departing April 25, 2021 and beyond, and departures from Israel aboard Odyssey of the Seas, are canceled through May 31, 2021.
Previously, cruises were canceled through April 30, 2021. Royal Caribbean joins Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line in pausing operations through May 2021.
Passengers booked on canceled sailings have the option of choosing Royal’s “Lift and Shift,” moving their booking to a 2022 cruise of the same length, itinerary, departure port, and stateroom category, locking in their cruise fare and any promotions; receiving a 125 percent Future Cruise Credit, good through September 30, 2022; or claiming a 100 percent refund.
Cruises sailing from the U.S. and most of the world have been suspended since early 2020 due the Coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their “Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew” in October 2020, laying out the steps for a resumption of cruise service from the U.S.
Most major cruise lines have stated they have instituted the requirements as outlined in the Framework, and have submitted the necessary requests to the CDC to begin required “test sailings” before a return to general service, but have not received clearance or guidance from the CDC on their plans.
Thanks to an early vaccination program in Israel, and the launch of Royal’s Odyssey of the Seas, Israeli citizens who are fully vaccinated will be able to begin sailing to the Greek Isles and Cyprus in May. The cruises mark the first time Royal Caribbean has sailed from Israel, and the first “fully vaccinated” cruises where all passengers over 16 and 100 percent of crew members have been vaccinated.