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Holland America Cancellation Policy: Can I Get My Money Back?

Holland America Koningsdam cruise ship

It's difficult to be pessimistic when you're booking a vacation -- especially if it's on a cruise -- but there's always a chance that unfortunate circumstances will creep up and stand between you and your well-deserved getaway.

If you're wondering about the Holland America Line cancellation policy, we can help. We've rounded up the particulars to make your life easier in the event that you have to cancel your sailing.

Holland America ship in Inside Passage

Holland America Refund Policy

Under normal circumstances, Holland America Line allows passengers to put down part of their cruise fare as a deposit when booking. Final payment is then due a set amount of time before the sailing date.

If a passenger needs to cancel prior to final payment, all money is refunded (unless a nonrefundable deposit is made). If it's past the final payment date, money for cancellations will be refunded according to the following schedule, which varies based on sailing length and type.

Refund schedule for guests with bookings made in US$, CA$, or AU$:

GRAND WORLD, GRAND VOYAGES, ANY SEGMENT OF A GRAND WORLD OR GRAND VOYAGE, 28+ DAY HAWAII, TAHITI & MARQUESAS, AMAZON EXPLORER, INCAN EMPIRES (INCLUDING SEGMENTS), 30+ DAY TRANSATLANTIC VOYAGES AND ANY SEGMENT OF A 30+ DAY TRANSATLANTIC:

Cancellations through 121 days before your trip begins: 100% refund;
120-91 days before your trip begins: 100% refund, less required deposit amount;
90-76 days before your trip begins: 40% refund of full fare;
75 days or less before commencing travel: No refund available.

ALL OTHER VOYAGES 7 NIGHTS OR LONGER (through Summer 2021):

Cancellations through 91 days before your trip begins: 100% refund;
90-64 days before commencing travel: 100% refund, less required deposit amount;
63-43 days before commencing travel: 50% refund of gross fare;
42-22 days before commencing travel: 25% refund of gross fare;
21 days or less before commencing travel: No refund available

ALL OTHER VOYAGES 7 NIGHTS OR LONGER (effective Fall 2021):

Cancellations through 91 days before your trip begins: 100% refund;
90-76 days before commencing travel: 100% refund, less required deposit amount;
75-61 days before commencing travel: 50% refund of gross fare;
60-31 days before commencing travel: 25%  refund of gross fare;
30 days or less before commencing travel: No refund available.

VOYAGES UP TO 6 NIGHTS:
Cancellations through 76 days before your trip begins: 100% refund;

75-57 days before commencing travel: 100% refund, less required deposit amount;
56-29 days before commencing travel: 50% refund of gross fare;
28-16 days before commencing travel: 25% refund of gross fare;
15 days or less before commencing travel: No refund available.

In light of the rapidly changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic, Holland America has made its cancellation policies more flexible for passengers wishing to cancel voyages that are still scheduled. For extra peace of mind, the line has instituted a Cruise With Confidence policy, applicable to sailings departing on or before April 30, 2022, which are booked on or before October 31, 2020. which allows travelers to get 100 percent of their money back if they cancel at least 91 days in advance of their sailing date.

Under the same policy, cruisers who cancel between 30 and 90 days prior to their embarkation date will receive a full refund to their original form of payment, minus cancellation fees (see charts above), which will be withheld and returned in the form of future cruise credit.

Additionally, the line is offering for-fee trip insurance coverage, which allows passengers to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours prior to sailing and receive nearly a full refund (80 to 90 percent of the cruise fare paid, depending on the coverage purchased).

Holland America cruise ship

Exceptions to the HAL Cancellation Policy

If you have put down a nonrefundable deposit or purchased a nonrefundable cruise fare, the amount will not be refunded, regardless of when the booking is canceled.

Name or date changes will be considered cancellations and are subject to the corresponding cancellation fees.

If passengers cancel and receive future cruise credit, promotions offered under the canceled booking will not apply to the new booking when the FCC is used. FCC may not be used for deposits, taxes or fees when booking a sailing.

Are My Other Travel Arrangements Refundable?

The above cancellation policy schedule also applies to hotel, cruisetour, ground transfer and flight arrangements made through Holland America.

We advise cruisers to purchase travel insurance for many reasons. In this case, carrying a policy that includes "cancel for any reason" coverage could help you to recover money paid to the cruise line if the cruise line doesn't refund the entire amount.

Additional "cancel for any reason" coverage would be necessary to recoup costs for other travel arrangements (like flights and pre- or post-cruise hotels) related to the trip but not booked through the cruise line. Contact a travel agent or travel insurance provider for details, and be sure to read the fine print before buying.