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Avalon Waterways, AmaWaterways with APT, Travelmarvel Crystal Cruises and Teeming River Cruises have joined the growing list of river cruise lines cancelling their sailings amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

They join Scenic, Viking and Uniworld with offers of future credit, no cancellation fees and enhanced booking bonuses.

While each cruise line has taken an independent approach to their cancellation policies and altered itineraries, it now appears that each of the main players has heeded the recommendations from global health authorities to temporarily suspend all cruising.

Here’s the latest on what these cruise lines are offering their passengers in terms of updated policies.

Crystal River Cruises:

“As the unprecedented situation concerning COVID-19 evolves, Crystal continues to closely monitor recommendations from global health authorities and developments from relevant government authorities including the U.S. Administration’s recent announcement of a 30-day air restriction prohibiting many foreign visitors, who have been in Europe over the last two weeks, from entering the U.S.

“Regrettably, as a result of this new 30-day restriction, we have made the decision to cancel Crystal River Cruises’ voyages scheduled to embark from March 26 to April 11. Guests on affected sailings will have the choice of:

  • A 100% refund of cruise fare, port charges, taxes, and fees paid, and any air and hotel packages booked through Crystal.

OR

  • A Future Cruise Credit* equal to 125% of their cruise fare paid – valid on any Crystal experience (Ocean, River, Yacht or Expedition) embarking through December 31, 2022 – along with a refund of port charges, taxes, and fees, and air and hotel packages booked through Crystal.”

If guests are unable to redeem the future cruise credit by December 31, 2022, they may request a refund of the original cruise fare paid.

We will be applying the Future Cruise Credit to the guest profile. However, if a guest prefers the refund option, we kindly ask that they let us know by the start of their original embark date by emailing us at Resolutions@crystalcruises.com.

We will be communicating these changes to our booked guests and their travel advisors directly.

Teeming River Cruises:

As of this evening (March 11), the U.S. government has announced it is suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days in response to the escalating coronavirus outbreak. In light of this, we will be rescheduling our first cruise of the season that was going to depart Lyon, France on April 2, 2020. Thank you for your patience as we work through the details and contact all guests. We are working on our schedule to determine the best options and course of action for all our guests.

All other Teeming River Cruises’ 2020 sailings and itineraries are currently planned to operate as scheduled. However, we continue to daily monitor this situation for new developments and will strive to respond in a timely manner to the evolving travel situation due to COVID-19.

New Cancellation Guidelines:

During this time of uncertainty for international travel, we understand that enhanced flexibility will help alleviate prospective guests’ travel concerns while making plans for the upcoming summer and fall cruises. Teeming River Cruises’ new cancellation policy will be effective as of March 1, 2020, through May 3, 2020.

For cancellations of bookings made within this time period:

Teeming River Cruises will allow all guests who book from March 1 to May 3, 2020, for a cruise departure on or after July 14, 2020, to forego our standard cancelation policy and will provide them the option of transferring their cruise payment toward another Teeming River Cruises’ 2020 sailing or receiving a full refund.

This policy applies only to new bookings made between March 1, 2020, and May 3, 2020.

This policy is not retroactive to any booking made prior to March 1, 2020.

These temporary changes in our cancellation policy do not negate the need to purchase travel insurance. At TeemingRC, we continue to strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance for all guests.

Any cancellation must be made at least 30 days prior to the sailing date. Rebookings can be made up to 30 days prior to departure and is based on the availability of that sailing.

Please continue to check our Travel Updates page on the website for the latest information. http://www.teemingvr.com

Avalon Waterways

Avalon Waterways is voluntarily and temporarily pausing global operations for travel through April 30, 2020.

Avalon Waterways passengers can now move their travel dates for bookings through to April 30, 2020 without incurring cancellations fees. A bonus credit of up to $300 per person will be added to your Future Booking Credit, redeemable for any future 2020, 2021 or 2022 holiday.

An Avalon spokesperson says: “In response to elevated travel restrictions and government advisements, Avalon Waterways is announcing an unprecedented new offer designed to give our travellers options and peace-of-mind when considering their travel plans.”

Your Future Booking Credit and additional bonus is redeemable on any Globus family of brands (Globus, Cosmos, Monograms, and Avalon Waterways) holiday on any destination and is transferrable.

For details, contact Avalon Waterways at 1300 230 234

AmaWaterways with APT and Travelmarvel

AMAWaterways with APT and Travelmarvel have suspended all International tours and cruises up to and including 31 May 2020. A future holiday credit equal to 120% of the value of the booking to be valid up until the end of 2021.

It will be applicable for multiple bookings and the credit can be partly transferred to a person accompanying clients on an alternative trip. Otherwise, it is not transferable to another person, nor is it redeemable for cash.

A spokesperson for AmaWaterways with APT says: “The safety and wellbeing of our guests and employees is of our highest concern during this time of uncertainty, and we are continuously monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. Travel to all countries is now being affected in some way, with many changing their border control and entry policies, health screening and some with complete entry restrictions.

“This is an unprecedented time and as such we are offering the following flexibility to guests with bookings during this time to be able to continue to travel with us.”

AmaWaterways with APT will be contacting all members and agent partners directly affected by this change and have set up a dedicated customer care team specifically for this situation.

Tours and Cruises after 31 May 2020 will operate as normal except Canada and Alaska due to the Government of Canada deferring the start of the cruise ship season from 2 April 2020 to 1 July 2020. If you are booked to travel between 31 May 2020 to 19 June 2020 AmaWaterways with APT will be contacting you directly to discuss your touring options.

Any 2020 bookings falling outside of the suspension dates listed above will be able to access the updated and extended Temporary Deferment Policy:
“If you have an International booking with us and have paid a deposit or paid in full, and wish to postpone, defer or change your holiday destination, you can do so anytime up to 14 days prior to departure (or 30 days prior to departure for any Rail and Combination – Land and Cruise). Any funds paid will be held as a future holiday credit for use in either 2020 or 2021 with a change fee of $250 per person. Any 3rd party fees, including airline change fees will be applicable.” 

If you’d like additional information please don’t hesitate to contact us directly on 1300 336 932, info@aptouring.com.au or reach out to your travel agent.

Pandaw

Due to restrictions on foreign travellers into Vietnam and India we are cancelling all cruises in these countries until 31 April. Sailings that are operating at time of writing will be completed and where passengers are already in country and about to embark will be operated also. Thereafter we will cancel all cruises in these countries until 31 April.

Meanwhile Myanmar and Laos sailings are at present operating normally with no travel restrictions. Our customer service team are working with passengers who have been cancelled by this and discussing with them options for rebooking in the future.

Pandaw very much regret the inconvenience and disappointment this decision forced on us has caused.

To help out we are offering our members a flexible booking scheme: this means that if you make a booking for next season and then, for whatever reason, want to change the date of travel or the routing you will be able to transfer any monies paid as a credit to another date or route within 12 months of that sailing date without penalty, subject to availability of a cabin.

Please note this does not apply to flights or hotel arrangements, but these can be booked much later as there will always be plenty of options, whereas our more popular Pandaw routings can fill up quite fast.

We know that our Pandaw passengers can look beyond current events and hope this helps give some peace of mind.

Heritage Line

Halong Bay has been officially closed by local authorities until March 26. No cruises are allowed during that period (day or overnight). Any bookings during this period will be refunded or can be forwarded to a later travel date in 2020 or 2021.

Lan Ha Bay, is also officially closed by local authorities until further notice. We do not have any time line for when it will reopen at this stage. Any bookings during this period will be refunded or can be forwarded to a later travel date in 2020 or 2021.

Lower Mekong River (Vietnam & Cambodia): local authorities have closed areas in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.  Heritage Line’s port of calls are affected and visits to Tan Chau, Binh Thanh Island, My An Hung, and Cai Be are not possible. As of this hour, our cruise operations continue with confirmed departures in March and April and our team is working on itinerary solutions as best as possible.

Note: we will update this section in due course with latest news.

Upper Mekong (Laos):  Our cruises and the launch of our ship Heritage Line Anouvong is still scheduled on 29 September 2020. Currently there are no cases of Coronavirus in Laos and we encourage guests not to cancel confirmed trips and also continue to book. We all stay positive that in some time we have overcome this difficult situation and can celebrate the arrival of Anouvong.

Currently we offer full refund of any bookings that are affected by official Coronavirus travel restrictions.

Heritage Line will be supportive for clients who have booked a cruise in the first half of 2020 to postpone their trip. For these clients we can offer credit charges, if any, to a future departure within the year of 2020 (subject to price differences due to a change in the travel season).

Is it safe to cruise rivers? Everything you need to know after the Australian government warnings

Latest formal advice can be found:
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs: www.smartraveller.gov.au
United Nations World Health Organisation: www.who.int

River Cruise Passenger will updating this information as it continues to unfold.