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Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Suspension of Cruises.

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Posted (edited)

H-L Cruises announced today that it is temporarily suspending cruises until the 28 April 2020.

 

Estimated resumption of cruises

MS EUROPA: April 28, 2020 from New York (EUR2007

MS EUROPA 2: April 30, 2020 from Lisbon (EUX2010)

HANSEATIC nature: May 19, 2020 from Sao Miguel (NAT2009)

HANSEATIC inspiration: April 28, 2020 from Belem (INS2008)

 

 

 

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Edited by English Voyager

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I had been following their website, given I have two BTB cruises end of May to end of June in the pipeline including Ocean Sun  ( to be gone a month, if it happens, as I am finally retired and can be gone longer times).  Final payment will be due in four weeks.  A lot will have to change in how the world is handling Coronavirus between now and the end of April for me to fully commit ( like the small matter of being able to get to Germany and come home to the U.S. after the theoretical cruise terminates in Germany). I sure timed my carefree retirement well!☹️

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To be honest I think that being able to resume cruises within the next 2-3 months is wildly optimistic.

 

Admittedly the UK is 2-3 weeks behind the rest of Europe, but our Government is talking about the peak of the virus outbreak not being until May/June.

It has already advised elderly people not to go on a cruise.

 

Plus for some time, with the policy of recirculating air within the cabin, flying has been a lottery re catching a virus.

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We came back from Rio de Janeiro this morning. Our Hanseatic Inspiration cruise from Buenos Aires to Belem ended in Rio. The 2  Amazon cruises to Iquitos and back to Belem were canceled. My husband and I were supposed to go to Iquitos. We changed our flights to Rio - Miami. Another passenger from New York City changed his to fly back as well. The ship, actually Hamburg headquarters, changed and booked the flights to Europe for all other passengers including for a couple from Guam. We got free transfer to the airport.

 

On Sunday, passengers who had not yet left on Saturday, could choose between a free guided excursion to the Statue of Christ the Redeemer or the Sugarloaf Mountain. The last lunch was a Poelser party on board, free adult and other drinks included.

 

The ship, crew and service were lovely. We were all sad to leave. I'll write a review in the next days.

 

In Rio, the Inspiration was docked next to Oceania's Insignia whose world cruise ended right there. 

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I am booked on the Europa 2  dep 30th April Lisbon to Hamburg but I think it is extremely optimistic that the cruise is due to happen ...

I always try to avoid flying Brussels Airlines ( really very poor )  however for a very short flight like Hamburg or Nizza , i am not going over Munich or Zurich...

Yesterday Brussels did suspend all its flights until 20 th April 

I simply could not imagine in the actual level of the medical science such circumstances were possible 

like in 1918 -1919 Spanish flu  -  and some 10 years ago Mexican flu finally and very lucky was not coming through

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Posted (edited)

Cruise Critic is continuing to block the posting of a direct link to HL Cruises English language website.

 

HL Cruises posted yesterday a series of Q & A topics.

 

Edited by English Voyager
text amended

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yesterday Hapag Lloyd did cancel the cruise on Europa 2 dep 30th April as well - Lisbon to Hamburg. 

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The Company has published a revised list of the first envisaged cruises:

 

  • MS EUROPA: May 9, 2020 from Hamburg (EUR2008)
  • MS EUROPA 2: May 13, 2020 from Hamburg (EUX2011)
  • MS BREMEN: May 23, 2020 from Otaru (BRE2008)
  • HANSEATIC nature: May 30, 2020 from Porto (NAT2010)
  • HANSEATIC inspiration: May 18, 2020 from Boston (INS2010)

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Good to know. I think it is still very optimistic. My friend wrote that hotels, pensions and private hosts in her village at Lake Constance cannot reopen before June 15th. It probably applies to all of Baden-Wuerttemberg. 

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Yes, sadly, the way things are going, it looks like odds are very high there will be no Ocean Sun Festival cruise for me May 27 on the Europa. Final payment in theory is due April 27 but I anticipate ( and hope) HL does not expect pax to make final payment for a cruise likely to be cancelled, so we can avoid being on the hook for non-payment of obligations ( at that point huge cancellation penalties would officially be in place per the cruise contract), if it is not already cancelled by then.  They seem to be annoyingly cancelling just one week at a time as time goes on,   unlike most cruise lines which have cancelled several months of cruises. SB, in contrast, cancelled some cruises with just days or hours to go, and has been very poor on customer service for people attempting to secure refunds or even to communicate ( see SB threads, and I was on a cruise  on the Encore with DH in Australia which was prematurely cut short half-way , though I had fortunately booked that through a TA, with SB air, and with insurance etc., whereas I booked 

Europa on my own ).

 

So  I have to wait for HL to cancel my cruises, to avoid losing my deposit and not having an obligation to pay big final payments on a month worth of BTB luxury cruises that will almost certainly not happen and then struggle to get a refund.

 

Then I will have to deal with yet again cancelling my United flights to Europe and paying cancellation penalties again which my flight insurance did not cover  ( which I had booked using the credit from the flights I had to cancel because HL cancelled my Hanseatic Nature cruise last spring, as the new ship was not ready). 

 

In California, we are under a “shelter in place” order  for the whole state ( except for “essential” activities) and it is not likely to be lifted soon as I am in a hot spot county.


As I just recently retired so I could travel more,  but cannot travel, and my professional skills would be appreciated if I went back to work at this time, I could easily go back to work to try and help, but if I then caught coronavirus while working due to lack of adequate personal protective equipment I would not be able to travel for months ( years?) even if I recovered and the world opens up again, so this may not be the best plan .  ☹️
 

I also have an October Inspiration cruise booked, which I could cancel now with some acceptable loss, but if I stay retired, I can just play it by ear and wait for them to cancel, or not.
 

At this time I guess we should just be happy we are not sick in the hospital, have food, utilities, internet, books, music, nature, and a lot of hope to be able to experience the joys of cruising with HL in the more distant future. 
 

Best wishes for you all to stay healthy during these trying times!

 

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I think HL would be wildly optimistic in thinking that cruises could be reinstated within the next 3-4 months.

 

If nothing else, surely crews would have returned home, and being able to leave would depend on the situation re the virus in their respective countries, and national Governments' exit strategy for safely relaxing measures that have been introduced to deal with the virus.

 

Then there is the uncertainty as to which airlines will have survived when the pandemic has run it's course , and how quickly flights can be re-established.

 

Already, Virgin Atlantic has made it known it will be approaching the UK Government for financial aid, which is rather rich considering the speed with which it laid off staff, and Richard Branson's personal fortune of $5.1 billion.

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Hanseatic Nature is on her way to Hamburg now. She was lucky to have her passengers and some of the crew disembark in Valparaiso before the port was closed. She met up with the Hanseatic Inspiration in Barbados and took on 50 of the Inspiration's crew to return to Hamburg. There are limited travel options within Germany. 

Check the blog for news.

https://www.hl-cruises.de/blog/

 

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The crew on board are hanging out close together, as they journey back,  presumably without concern any of them could be asymptomatically infected with corona from prior interaction with pax or at the last port.

The captain comments says they will be ready to sail whenever they get the go-ahead , with guests, and pictures look like they are happy and healthy, but it would be reassuring to know if they have all been tested at least once for corona.

 

Website about corona for HL is still talking about mid to late May as the first possible departure, subject to change of course.  My first upcoming Europa cruise of the BTB, in theory would be going to the Baltics leaving May 27, St. Petersburg and back, am not sure Putin would be keen on accepting a cruise ship from Europe loaded with Germans without every passenger and crew having been tested.  

 

I will just sit tight and wait to see if there are further extensions.  

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Good luck! May sounds very optimistic!

 

I think the crews of these two ships have been at sea over 2 weeks without passengers and without port calls. They should be fine.

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I got an email that my BTB May and June Europa cruises starting with the Ocean Sun are cancelled.

The website, which had not been updated since April 7, now is updated to indicate everything is cancelled until at least mid June scheduled departures ( but of course given ports are closed it is unclear how even mid June will happen).

 

There was an offer in my email for a 25% discount off a cruise by April 2021, 10% by September 2021, and 200 euro OBC.  There was not a peep about a deposit refund option, but I know I am entitled to a full refund under German law.

 

Now I get to call United to yet again postpone my old airline credit from spring 2019 when the Nature was not ready.  Germany’s current  entrance restrictions would not have let me in anyway unless I was a resident or in a special category.

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An extract from the latest notice on H-L Cruises' website reads as follows:

 

'Therefore, all of the fleet’s voyages are suspended temporarily, probably until mid-July. In addition, all cruises calling at a US port will be cancelled until the end of July.'

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The latest information from H-L Cruises states:

 

'Therefore, all of the fleet’s voyages are suspended temporarily, probably until the end of July. In addition, all cruises calling at a US and Canadian port will be cancelled until mid-September.'

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it seems ms Europa will start mid August - with the event "Beste " in Hamburg however I have serious questions if the event can happen - a few hundred people on the open deck of the ms Europa ?

the Europa  2  is planned to start out of Athens last days of August  

 -i am booked on a cruise Malta Lisbon  mid September however for the moment Belgian citizens are still not allowed in Malta 

thanks to our government counting all the people who died in "caring homes" as corona victims without having any certitude 

one example : a man of 92 with existing  heart problems died - said to be "corona " victim ...???

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2 hours ago, vistaman said:

it seems ms Europa will start mid August - with the event "Beste " in Hamburg however I have serious questions if the event can happen - a few hundred people on the open deck of the ms Europa ?

the Europa  2  is planned to start out of Athens last days of August  

 -i am booked on a cruise Malta Lisbon  mid September however for the moment Belgian citizens are still not allowed in Malta 

thanks to our government counting all the people who died in "caring homes" as corona victims without having any certitude 

one example : a man of 92 with existing  heart problems died - said to be "corona " victim ...???

Personally, given the ease with which the norovirus can break out on a ship, I would not contemplate a cruise until such time as there is a proven vaccine or a treatment against the coronavirus.

 

Then there is the added problem of airlines recirculating air around a plane's cabin.

 

With regard to deaths in care homes, in the UK, the possible effect of the coronavirus upon mortality has been factored in by comparing the mortality figures for a specific time frame against those for the average of the previous five years .

Between 13 March and the 8 May the excess figure was 21,813.

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