Major cruise lines postpone sailing until fall

Updated: Jun. 22, 2020 at 7:18 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Those hoped to go on a cruise this summer may have to wait until fall.

Most major cruise lines say they won't be back up and running until mid to late September.

"I think it makes people fearful of even further into the year," Belinda Unbehagen, with Cruise & Tours Unlimited, said.

Many cruise lines hoped to be back at sea in late July, when the CDC no sail order expired.

Unbehagen says most of her clients will now wait until next year or longer, to book.

"One of my clients actually rebooked from a May sailing to 2021, and she called and said I'm thinking we may want to push it until 2022," Unbehagen said.

The Cruise Lines International Association says it’s extending the suspension of operations until September 15 to err on the side of caution.

The extension applies to all of its members, including Carnival, Royal Carribean and Disney cruise lines.

In a statement, the Port of New Orleans said the halt in cruises since March has resulted in an estimated four million dollar loss in revenue.

A spokesperson said the cruise business accounts for 16 percent of their total revenues.

The port says it’s currently focusing on other streams of revenue from cargo, industrial real estate and rail to stay afloat.

Carnival Cruise Line, which planned to set sail in August, now says it will hold off until September 30.

The company says it will contact those affected who can either claim a cancellation offer or refund.

“I didn’t push on rebooking people quickly because I sensed that this would continue into the fall months,” Unbehagen said.

She says she only booked two cruise trips in October.

“Everyone is looking forward to the spring, and telling us to put our energies and dollars of advertising into spring because by then, hopefully they will be going again,” Unbehagen said.

A spokesperson with Royal Caribbean International says they will share details with guests early this week.

According to Disney cruise line’s website, they will also suspend ships until September 15.

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