Posted: Sunday, August 2, 2020. 9:29 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Forbes has reported that Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has canceled all of its scheduled cruises until the start of November, offering refunds to customers affected by those cancellations.
NCL is the first of the three major cruise lines to extend cancellations beyond the September 30 “No Sail Order” that is out for United States-based cruise ships issued by the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) back in March. In a statement issued last week the company said that it would extend the cancellations, “Due to the current global environment…”
NCL, along with Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line are all offering refunds to their customers, but are also offering bonuses to those that choose to book a cruise for another date instead of opting for a refund.
NCL’s decision to extend cancellations will inevitably have an impact on the recovery of Belize’s tourism sector, which was hit hard by the shutdown of global travel. Our news team spoke with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and learned that since March 14th, 2020, close to 100 cruise ship calls, with a total of over 300,000 projected arrivals, have been canceled.
“At this time the no-sail ban for cruise ships is still in effect and reopening of the cruise industry is contingent on approval from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The majority of cruise lines are unable to definitively forecast when they will return to normal operations,” the BTB said.
The BTB added that, while thousands of Belizeans have been impacted by the lack of cruise tourism, the paramount priority is to reopen safely, prompting the development of protocols to ensure that the industry is well prepared to welcome back travelers.
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