New Cunard Cancellation Policy for Mid-2017 and Beyond

Ed. Note:  The new cancellation policy applies only to the US passage contract.

Are you one of those cruisers who never remembers the due date for final payment on their cruise? Worse yet, you don’t mark your calendar for the day to cancel your booking without penalty. If you are or plan to cruise aboard Cunard next year, read on. There’s a new Cunard cancellation policy on the horizon.

New Cunard cancellation policy begins May 15, 2017

That’s right. Beginning next year, May 15, 2017 to be exact, the new Cunard cancellation policy to cancel without penalty is 121 days prior to departure. But it’s before final payment is due. For example, say you’re sailing on the 2-night Queen Mary 2 cruise on May 22, 2017. Final payment is due on Feb. 21, 2017 but the cancellation penalty to lose 25% of the money paid is actually on Jan. 22, 2017.

What it boils down to is your final payment is due 90 days before sailing but the cancellation penalty period kicks in at 120 days before sailing. However, there is an exception to the 25% penalty. If you booked your cruise under a reduced deposit promotion, you would only lose the deposit. See the 3rd penalty chart below for details.

Here are the three penalty charts from Cunard’s legal page, beginning with the standard deposit and voyage length:

Cunard-Cancellation-Policy 2017

Going on a longer cruise? Here’s your chart:


And if you paid a reduced deposit as a result of a special promotion, here’s your chart:

For those guests booking a reduced deposit promotion, the initial cancellation fee of “deposit amount” will not exceed the deposit required/paid at the time of the booking.


Cunard leads the industry with this new, closer-in cancellation policy. It probably won’t be long until other cruise lines adopt this policy, too. Until we get used to the change…mark your calendar(s) with a really bright highlighter pen!

Find the new cancellation policy in its entirety with this link to

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  1. Hi Elaine,
    Thank you for reading my article and sending an email. Much appreciated! Unfortunately, I can’t touch someone’s booking with any cruise line. I did, however, find the information on Cunard’s website. Here is what they say about cancellations:

    Voyage Length 30 nights or less Number of Days before Sailing Cancellation Fee

    120 to 91 25% or Deposit Amount

    90 to 61 40% of full fare

    60 to 31 50% of full fare

    30 to 15 75% of full fare

    14 days or less or non-appearance 100% of full fare

    It would seem to me that, unless your voyage is in excess of 30 nights or it’s past the 120 days before sailing mark, you are within the cancellation period for a full refund. This is clearly stated on Cunard’s website. If your travel agent isn’t cooperative, then you need to contact Cunard.

    Good luck!

  2. I have booked a Queen Elizabeth cruise for the 15th of February 2020 Unfortunate I have to cancel this cruise .I have sent a email to my agent on the 3rd of October 2019 . I have Canceled with 135 to go . Could you please let me know if I am in the range to get my deposit back please . Booking number is TR0207180002 booking ref 2K2L2D Inside state room 7067. In the name of Elaine Egginton . Thank you

  3. Hi Avril,

    Sorry for your experiences. I hope things work out for you.

  4. Hi
    I booked a transatlantic cruise in September 2018, to fly to New York and sail back to Southampton in December 2019, I have been refused a Visa so have had to cancel, and we have now booked to another cruise with Cunard around the same money, and they are telling us they are deducting half the original deposit. Where is the goodwill on Cunards part as we’ve shown it by booking another cruise

  5. Hi. I had a cruise, Southampton to Auckland, booked through a travel agent for January 2019. I have been forced to cancel this trip and did so in January 2018. However, my travel agent tells me that the 2000 pound sterling deposit that I paid is forfeit. I am having trouble understanding why a cancellation, a year in advance would cost Cunard 2000 pounds. Having written to Cunard regarding this, I have not even had the courtesy of a rely. I note that if I was sailing to the USA, there would be no penalty.

  6. Hi Alan,
    Your cruise confirmation from Cunard will have the cancellation conditions on it. Since your cruise is nearly a year away, I would think that you are entitled to a full refund. If you booked under a promotional rate, it might have its own cancellation policy. Your travel agent will have all the details. I hope you can cruise with Cunard in the future.

  7. Hi , we have a cruise booked via a travel agency to travel with Cunard in Feb 2019 we have to cancel this trip and can do so within the time scale outlined. My question is are we entitled to a refund of our deposit ?
    Thanks Alan

  8. Rodger,
    Please contact your travel agent or if you made your reservation directly with Cunard, you need to call them. Either way, however you made your original reservation, I’d suggest following up the same way.

  9. I need to change a reservation made for NY to Southampton end of October. I want to postpone but do not yet have an alternative date. how do I do this.

  10. Hi Colin,
    Thank you for your question. The chart on this article was a screenshot from Cunard’s website. I have corrected the “120 days” in my article to read “121 days” before departure. If you were to cancel 121 days prior to departure, there would be no penalty. Please do keep in mind that policies can change so it’s really important to read your ticket contact and terms and conditions to be be fully aware of any changes or penalties. In the article, there is also a direct link to Cunard’s site to read the entire contract.

    Happy cruising!

  11. Regarding your statement that Cunard has a new cancellation policy i.e that if one cancels 120 days or more before departure that there is no loss of deposit, when put to Cunard Customer Care they claimed total ignorance of this policy that on your site you say came in in May 2017.
    Can you please confirm who is correct? It is very confusing.

    Thank you C. Eldred.

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