Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has launched a new ‘Plain Sailing Guarantee’ to offer reassurance to guests with upcoming cruise bookings in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Plain Sailing Guarantee sets out Fred. Olsen’s revised policies to reflect the changing nature of the travel industry during this challenging time. This includes ‘quibble free refunds’ and full flexibility when guests wish to transfer to an alternative cruise.
The Guarantee also lays out revised payment terms to reassure guests that they will only pay in full once they know for sure that they will be sailing, with balance payments now due just 28 days before departure, as opposed to the former 90-day period.
Guests who would like to transfer to another cruise will receive a future cruise voucher on top of any funds that have already been paid, which can be put towards another sailing. This voucher will be valid for 24 months, with all funds to be automatically refunded, plus an additional 5%, if it is not used within this time.
In addition, any guest with a 2020 cruise booked can choose to transfer to any other cruise already on sale, even if their sailing has not been cancelled. All guests need to do is let Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines know at least two weeks before the scheduled departure date.
Jackie Martin, Marketing & Sales Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “What our new Plain Sailing Guarantee does is set out clearly what options are available to guests. Of course, it goes without saying that all guests are entitled to a full refund on any monies paid when a cruise is cancelled. But we know that a number of our guests are keen to enjoy cruising with us again when they can, so we have made it easy for them to transfer their booking.
“We know that everything seems a little uncertain just now, and some people may want a little more time to decide where and when they may want to travel again, which is why our future cruise voucher will last for 24 months. If at the end of this time some guests have still not managed to find a cruise to suit, we will automatically refund everything they have already paid, plus an additional 5%, as a thank you for their support and to cover any interest they may otherwise have accrued during this time.
“This is a challenging time for us all, and I would like to thank all of our guests for their support as we sail these choppy seas, and we can’t wait to welcome our guests back on board with us as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Fred. Olsen’s four ocean ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – are currently in safe haven in Scotland’s Firth of Forth, where they will remain until cruising continues.
The operator announced last week that a temporary pause in operations would be extended beyond 23 May as initially planned. All cruises prior to this date will be monitored regularly in line with the latest Government advice. All guests will receive at least 30 days’ notice before they were due to travel if their cruise is affected.