Victory Cruises will postpone by one year the inaugural season of its first expedition ship, the Ocean Victory, due to regulatory restrictions that prevent the ship from debuting this summer in Alaska.
Victory said it is no longer accepting reservations for 2021 departures of the Ocean Victory and is encouraging prospective passengers to book 2022 itineraries.
The CDC has still not allowed operation of cruise ships of 250 or more crew and passengers from U.S. ports, and Canada in February extended its cruise ship ban until February 2022 (the Ocean Victory is a foreign-flagged ship and must call on a foreign part to operate in U.S. waters), giving most cruise ships two major regulatory hurdles in Alaska.
The 93-cabin Ocean Victory is the first of two newbuilds for Victory Cruises. The ship will be chartered to Albatros Expeditions for the 2021-2022 winter season in Antarctica.
Victory said that it still plans to operate its Great Lakes sailings on its two other ships, the Victory I and Victory II and that it is in "ongoing discussions with fellow cruise lines, travel partners and government officials in an effort to sail this summer."