Coronavirus outbreaks around the world have left some holidaymakers uncertain as to whether to go ahead with their travel plans.

We've got a guide on coronavirus travel advice to shed some light on what happens if your destination is affected – and what travel insurance will cover – but essentially if there is no FCO advice against your destination, your trip can go ahead.

It's understandable that some Brits are hesitant about booking trips, but a number of cruise lines including Royal Caribbean and Fred Olsen have stepped up with new 'book with confidence' policies to lend a helping hand.

These allow passengers to book a holiday with the option to change the dates of your holiday if you decided to cancel, for free. In some cases, this can be done up to 48 hours before the sailing departure date.

This is usually through a rebooking option or cruise credit – and the best part is, that most companies will let you pick alternative dates through to 2021, so there really is a lot of flexibility.

We take a look at the cruise lines offering up these flexible booking options below…

(We've listed them in alphabetical order to make things a little easier).

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises will let you cancel any cruise – including existing or new bookings – that set sail from now until the 31st July 2020.

Passengers can cancel up to at least 48 hours before the cruise is set to sail.

When you cancel, you'll receive a Future Cruise Credit that can be used on any cruise that sails before the 31st December 2021, so there's quite a large window for making alternative plans.

Find out more on the Celebrity Cruises website.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney has temporarily adjusted its cancellation policy. These changes include:

  • European sailings on board Disney Magic through to a July 25th departure. Passengers can change their reservation until the day before embarkation and receive a 100 per cent cruise credit to be used within 15 months of their original sail date.
  • Guests currently booked on Disney Magic's European sailings on July 13, July 18 and July 25, 2020 may delay their final payment to 30 days prior to their sailing.
  • All Guests scheduled to depart on the Disney Magic between now and May 8, 2020, and the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wonder between now and May 31, 2020, can change their reservation up until the day before embarkation and receive a 100 per cent cruise credit to be used for a future sailing within 12 months of their original sail date.

You can find out more about the cancellation policy and what to do if you're affected on the Disney Cruise Line website.


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Emerald Waterways

Scenic, which Emerald Waterways belongs to, has offered a new cancellation policy in light of coronavirus outbreaks.

Under the new policy, sailings with a departure on or after the 1st June 2020 can have the option to transfer their booking to an alternate departure without penalty, up to 30 days prior to departure. 

That applies to both guests with cruises already booked, and passengers making new bookings.

Find out more on the Emerald Waterways website.

Fred Olsen

If you book a cruise for 2020 or a cruise included in their Worldwide brochure for 2021 and 2022, you'll be covered by the company's 'Booking Reassurance Guarantee'.

That means that if you want to change your plans (including if you're concerned about coronavirus), you can cancel your booking with no penalty, and move any money paid to a different cruise. The new cruise will need to be within the same year.

For cruises in 2020, you'll need to let the company know no later than two weeks before you are due to travel. For cruises in 2021 and 2022, you'll need to give at least 90 days' notice.

All cruise bookings made by Tuesday 5th May will be covered by the Booking Reassurance Guarantee.

Find out more on the Fred Olsen website.

P&O Cruises

The cruise line has revealed that it will be reviewing its current transfer and cancellation policies to find a way to offer more flexibility for passengers.

At the time of writing, P&O Cruises hasn't yet revealed the exact details although on Monday 9th March a statement on its Twitter page explained that they would be sharing details "within 48 hours".

Passengers who have sailings before the 11th March should call 03453 555 111 to discuss their options.

The cruise line is temporarily changing its cancellation policy for cruises/cruisetours departing between the 6th March and 31st May 2020.

What these changes are depend on your departure dates – see the three options below:

  • March 9th-April 3rd: You can cancel up to 72 hours before sailing to automatically receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for 100 per cent of cancellation fees.
  • April 4th-May 31st: Cancel by March 31 and automatically receive a Future Cruise Credit for 100 per cent of cancellation fees.

The cruise line is also changing  final payment terms for cruises and cruisetours sailing in June 2020, with the final payment moved to 60 days prior to sailing.

You can find out more on the Princess Cruises website.

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean will let you cancel any cruise – whether already booked or a new booking – that sets sail from now until the 31st July 2020.

You can cancel at least 48 hours before you set sail.

When you cancel, you'll receive a Future Cruise Credit that can be used on any cruise that sails before the 31st December 2021, so you have a huge window to choose from for your alternative trip. Find out more on the Royal Caribbean website.

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