Princess Cruises on Thursday announced a pause of its global ship operations for two months in the wake of the evolving coronavirus pandemic.
The Santa Clarita company’s 18 cruise ships will not leave port between March 12 and May 10, while cruises ending in the next five days will continue as scheduled to avoid further travel disruption.
Cruises currently underway that extend beyond March 17 will be ended at a “convenient location for guests, factoring in operational requirements,” Princess said in a statement.
Those impacted by the company’s decision will have the option of transferring money paid for a future cruise along with an unspecified credit amount that can be applied to cruise fare. Those who want a cash refund must complete an online form request, Princess said.
“While this is a difficult business decision, we firmly believe it is the right one and is in alignment with our company’s core values,” Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said in a statement. “Rest assured the long-serving and dedicated professionals at our company will make best use of this time to prepare Princess Cruises’ fleet of cruise ships for a successful return to operation.”
Princess Cruises serves more than 50,000 guests daily from 70 countries.
Shares of Carnival Corp. & plc (CCL), parent company of Princess, closed Thursday down $6.79, or 31 percent, to $14.96 on the Nasdaq.