Coronavirus and cruises: Companies extend operation suspensions during outbreak  

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Cruise lines around the world have extended the suspension of upcoming voyages due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Many have delayed future excursions until at least May.

In recent days, major cruise companies Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises and Disney Cruise Line have all announced the extended suspension of new departures. Boutique cruise lines Cunard Line and Seabourn Cruise Line will also continue to pause operations for the immediate future.

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Carnival has extended its suspension of North America sailings from April 11 until May 11, the cruise line announced on Monday, as COVID-19 continues to spread. Guests whose scheduled bookings have been affected will be contacted by Carnival or their travel advisor, the company said, with instructions for claiming their refund or cancelation offer.  At this time, sailings scheduled for after May 11 have not been impacted.

Likewise, Costa Cruises, which is also owned by Carnival Corporation, has extended its voluntary suspension of cruises until April 30, the company said in a statement last week. Amid the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, Costa cited port closures and increased travel restrictions in making the decision.

Also on March 30, MSC Cruises announced that all cruises have been canceled through May 29, pushed back from the initial date of April 30. Impacted guests can find more information on the cruise line's website.

“This decision wasn’t taken lightly; but the health and safety of our guests and crew members is our top priority,” MSC said of the news.

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Disney Cruise Line has also extended the suspension of new departures through April 28.

Disney Cruise Line has also extended the suspension of new departures through April 28. (iStock)

Disney Cruise Line, too, has extended the suspension of new departures through April 28 for its entire four ship fleet. Passengers booked on affected sailings can opt to receive a full refund or a choice of cruise credit to be used within 15 months of their initially scheduled sail date, the cruise line said in a Monday update.

Some boutique cruise lines have also canceled upcoming sailings into May. Cunard has suspended all voyages until May 15, while Seabourn has extended its suspension of service until May 14.

The announcements arrive in the wake of Royal Caribbean’s extension of voluntary suspension of cruise operations, which was announced last week. The cruise company said it would be suspending all U.S. and international sailings until May 11, with tentative plans to resume service the following day. The update applies to all three of the cruise lines owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., which are Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.

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During the global outbreak of then-novel coronavirus, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. State Department have advised that Americans avoid traveling by cruise ship.

Fox News’ Michael Bartiromo contributed to this report.