To ease worries about cruising amid a coronavirus outbreak, Windstar Cruises is changing its policy so travelers can cancel up to 15 days before departure and not lose their money.
They will receive a future cruise credit for 100 percent of the cruise fare paid. The credit is good for the cruise fare only on another Windstar departure within one year.
“We recognize some people are hesitant to plan ahead for vacations due to concerns about coronavirus,” said Windstar Cruises President John Delaney. “We want to help people feel comfortable. Our new Travel Assurance plan lets you book now knowing you can change plans up to 15 days before your cruise departs.”
The new policy automatically applies to new and existing cruises departing on or after June 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2021.
Under the current policy, passengers would lose 100 percent of their money if they cancel up to 29 days before departure.
“The new Travel Assurance Booking Policy acknowledges the challenge of booking vacations in advance and aims to allay travelers’ concerns about losing money due to unexpected illness or other world events,” a Windstar statement said. “Windstar believes vacations enrich people’s lives. The new Travel Assurance Booking Policy is an extra effort to ensure travelers feel comfortable booking a well-deserved cruise vacation now without fearing loss should they need to cancel.”
Windstar canceled all Asia sailings in 2020, “out of an abundance of caution,” and updated its screening policy due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Crew travel through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and South Korea has been suspended. No one will be allowed to board a Windstar ship who has traveled from or through China, Hong Kong, Macau or South Korea, or has had close contact with anyone suspected or diagnosed as having coronavirus COVID-19, within 30 days before embarkation. Also, all passengers and crew will be administered a no-touch thermal scan to screen for fever, and anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will not be allowed to board the ship.
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