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grayjay

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About grayjay

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    Germany
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    Celebrity

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  1. I'd ask Hurtigruten if they'd be willing to use your deposit for a 2021 sailing if you explain the circumstances - usually Hurtigruten tries hard to help and accommodate their passengers in these hard times. And to be honest - with Covid-19 raging through the US at the moment I'm not sure if Norway will open up its borders soon for international travel outside the EU or Schengen area. At the moment they even don't allow their Swedish "relatives" in. I really wish it were different- we're on a "diet" ourselves - no cruises booked or planned, 3 cruises cancelled...
  2. The Norwegian government might open up the chance for landings and/or port stops at a later date, for example end of July for these cruises out of Hamburg. Hurtigruten is still negotiating this. From what I heard from people staying on the current cruise, they try very hard to keep the passengers occupied and happy from morning till evening, including excusions by kayaks, tender boats and even Stand-Up Paddles. No buffets for lunch and dinner, but food still seems to be excellent. And it must have been a great experience to have sailed through Geirangerfjord without another cruise ship in sight! We're tempted to book, but prices are eye-watering at 4800 Euros for the cheapest cabin, full board but no drinks included... And a better cabin with balcony is at least a third higher...
  3. This is disturbing news - on the other hand, this number is fluctuating wildly at the moment because of severe outbreaks in SOME hotspots like several meat factories and adjoining houses and apartments where the crowded living conditions for the workers let the virus attack easily , plus some outbreaks with superspreaders in the party scene or apartment housing with crowds of people who deemed both masks and social distancing absolutely unnecessary and are taught the hard way. There might be problems ahead though with the re-opening of schools, restaurants etc., but right now the situation in most regions here in Germany are really good, with no infections or up to 3 per capita/100.000 inhabitants in the last weeks. I'm still very pessimistic about the outlook for the cruise industry though, even if we'd simply LOVE to book - our last cruise was in December. All the others for this year fell through.
  4. I absolutely agree that it is not correct to have changed the cabin without even asking. The Trollfjord is being or has been renovated in 2020, but the cabins are tiny and quite often don't even have double beds. Cat. QJ does not exist on Trollfjord, the only cabins of reasonable size ( I fully agree with you here !) are the mini-suites which I expext to be very pricey. If possible, I'd ask to change to one of the ships that offer the QJ category ( not all of them do) , some of those cabins don't offer any sight , though, except onto a lifeboat. And don't forget, that your assigned cabin is, as far as I know, on the walking deck which means many paxes walking outside or standing next to your window. Good luck.
  5. For all those who are willing and interested to start from Hamburg, Germany: Hurtigruten is offering 6 Norway coastal voyages in the months of June-September on brand-new Fridtjof Nansen, unfortunately at eye-watering prices...
  6. The most current information I have is that both Norway and Svalbard are still closed to international visitors at least until July 20th, when the Norwegian government will reconsider whether or not to ease restrictions . As of now borders are closed to most visitors until August 20th with some exceptions regarding some Nordic countries or if you own a house in Norway etc. But in view of the remoteness of Svalbard I can't believe that visitors can book expedition cruises this year and I expect that at least all July expeditions, if not all, will be cancelled by Hurtigruten during the next weeks. But hope dies last, as you say in my country. Personally I hope to be able to go in 2021 after a vaccine has been found that really works and I won't be a danger to others as well as not in danger myself.
  7. They have been cancelled on the page you mentioned above as per June 12th. I don't know about Svalbard, but as Norway is still closed to most foreigners cruises at least until August there could only include passengers from the Nordic countries ( except Sweden).
  8. As of yesterday, all expedition voyages to Greenland, Iceland and Spitzbergen have been cancelled for this season by Hurtigruten. We feel sad even if we fully understand the significance of keeping such remote places as corona-free as possible, but still... We booked our cruise to Greenland on Fridtjof Nansen the moment it came out, got a great cabin plus onboard credit to use, booked flights and hotels etc. After the virus struck Europe so hard even after the lockdown was eased this month we weren't really comfortable about going with all that (necessary) mask-wearing, closure of airport lounges, restrictions on board but still were wanting to go. No more discussions in the family about that for now! We're still dithering about asking for a refund or re-booking for 2021.
  9. I can't believe that HAL would put themselves out of EU laws: According to that, as a European customers you are entitled to a full refund of your monies if the cruise ( or journey, whatever you have booked) is cancelled by the operator. Fully paid in my country means 4 weeks before a cruise. Cancellation by the cruise line is the important thing. Strangely enough you must have paid in full before you entitled to get your money back, even if due to airlines not flying , ships not able to reach the ports and borders closed so that you won't be able to reach your embarkation port. If the cruise is not cancelled by the cruise line and you do it by yourself, you lose up to 90 % of what you paid. If your final payment date is not reached you still lose at least your deposit. We had final payment due when it was absolutely sure there was no way that cruise would be possible ( was cancelled 3 days after final payment day /was another cruise line we had booked with) and it was a hard fight to not have to pay thousands of Euros to fulfill the contract in order to not lose the deposit.Now, 6 weeks later, I'm still waiting for the refund, though... So for some it might be an advantage to take the FCC, but not for those who have already paid and still cannot go. There is a lot of pressure by the travel industry to convince the local as well as the EU parliaments to change the law I mentioned above ( refund obligatory) and for the customer being forced to take a credit note but it is not yet the law! And many customers who are either older than 70 and/ or in ill health, or have lost their jobs or are being furloughed or just wish to stop cruising for a while until a vaccine is found for CoVid-19and perhaps just need the money or don't want to subsidize the travel industry are fighting against this law to be implemented. Perhaps HAL is just sticking their toes into this kind of cold water to test the reactions...
  10. Hurtigruten has now suspended operations into May: coastal routes til May 20th, expeditions till May 12, including for example a journey to Spitsbergen. Alaska routes are cancelled till end of July.
  11. Might be different in other countries but I think we'll have to wait quite some time: Our travel agency told us it might take up to 8 weeks for the refund to be processed by Azamara when I asked because our refund didn't come after 3 weeks of waiting.
  12. As far as I remember from Hurtigruten's homepage, the 125% offer is only valid for bookings in a certain time frame. Others will be offered only a refund plus a 10% voucher for the new journey. Certain special offers and Basic tariffs are excluded. It sounds rather complicated and they may have different rules for different countries. Calling them will be the right thing to do, I think.
  13. I can't believe cruise lines will survive with only healthy millenials and super-fit oldies over 70 like the 86-year-old man I recently read about still running marathons. One of the reasons people over 70 - which includes myself - and minor to middling chronic health problems for choosing cruises is the fact that it gives us the chance to still experience ship life, explore countries. And there is a vast difference between someone with chronic issues like asthma or diabetes or higher blood pressure if doing perfectly well with medication, like my husband and I do and the lady we met numerous times last year onboard and who neither knew who she was and had to be led around by anyone who found her until she was back safely in her room... Still - I hesitate to book two more Azamara cruises and a Celebrity cruise we have in mind for late 2020 and 2021 because of that dratted requirement. And as we have lost 2 cruises which were rightly cancelled because of CoVid-19 we have Future Cruise Credits to burn and really don't want to hang up in the bathroom as a reminder to what we have lost...
  14. At least the ship has already arrived in Valparaiso and re-fueling and provisioning are about to happen shortly. Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen (I'm not sure about Holland America's Zaandam if they succeeded in leaving/ disembarking passengers) is still waiting in Punta Arenas, not being allowed to dock after their Antarctica cruise, with 100 Australian doctors and dentists on board who are needed back home. I'm following news of Pursuit because we were supposed to be on board in April on a cruise full of Spanish and Italian ports... Interestingly enough Azamara is still selling those cruises , has not cancelled and "expects to start sailing again after April 11th". I wonder how they will manage that without airports in Europe open, travel bans to non-Europeans, Spain and Italy not allowing cruise ships and travel and all European countries fully occupied with managing the current crisis. I hope for the cruise industry to survive and to be able to enjoy another Azamara cruise some day - on Pursuit or any other.
  15. Yesterday I read something about the Roald Amundsen being among the ships that are not allowed to dock in any of the Chilean ports. Might be a rumour regarding the Hurtigruten ships but it certainly is true about 4 cruise ships, among them Celebrity Eclipse, Holland America's Zaandam and Azamara Pursuit not allowed to dock in Valparaiso or San Antonio to debark passengers. These ships seem to be forced to re-route directly to Miami or San Diego with all their passengers still on board.
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