Norwegian Cruise Line suspends trips through end of June

Norwegian Cruise Line suspends trips through end of June
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Norwegian Cruise Lines announced on Friday that it would suspend trips through June 30 as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

The cruise line also announced plans to relaunch its operations on July 1.

Additionally, the company said that customers who purchased a trip that had been suspended will be eligible for a 125 percent or 150 percent refund. 

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The move is the latest sign that cruise lines are taking an extra step to incentivize the vacation option. 

The cruise industry has been heavily impacted by the pandemic due to restrictions on travel, as well as the known spread of the virus on a number of cruise ships at the beginning of the outbreak. 

However, the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that cruise booking was up 40 percent for 2021 compared to 2019. 

Swiss bank USB reported that cruise booking volume for 2021 increased 9 percent compared to this time last year, with many of the bookings involving customers’ credits for 2020 cancellations. The bank also found that of customers whose cruises were canceled, 76 percent are opting for credit on a future trip rather than a refund.

Industry experts say they are not necessarily concerned about the long-term impact the pandemic will have on cruise lines. 

“We’re not dealing with post-9/11 where people were afraid for their safety when traveling beyond U.S. borders,” Stewart Chiron, who runs the website CruiseGuy, told the Los Angeles Times. “Many people are ready to sail once a clear timeline for resumption of service and current ship schedules are revealed.”