Cruising Won’t Resume in the U.S. Until at Least November, Cruise Association Confirms
Ocean cruising won’t resume in the U.S. until at least November, according to the Cruise Lines International Association, which represents major cruise lines around the world.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said its members have agreed to voluntarily suspend U.S. sailings through at least Oct. 31. The group counts major lines as members, including Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International.
“This is a difficult decision as we recognize the crushing impact that this pandemic has had on our community and every other industry,” the group said in a statement. “However, we believe this proactive action further demonstrates the cruise industry’s commitment to public health and willingness to voluntarily suspend operations in the interest of public health and safety… with the understanding that we will revisit a possible further extension on or before 30 September 2020.”
The decision comes weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its “No-Sail Order,” originally issued in March, through the end of September for larger ships subject to U.S. jurisdiction. It also comes as outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on ships in Norway.
This is CLIA’s third voluntary suspension of sailings, according to the group. If conditions change, however, the group said they will reconsider an earlier start date for sailings to resume.
Cruising has returned to other parts of the world: In both Germany and Taiwan, large ships set sail last month with limited capacity and social distancing measures.
However, some voyages around the world have not been successful in avoiding a coronavirus incident. American cruise line UnCruise Adventures had to end a sailing early as a passenger was notified they had tested positive for COVID-19, the cruise line confirmed on Wednesday. Passengers and crew are quarantining.
In Norway, two different cruise lines have seen outbreaks of COVID-19 on board. Norwegian expedition line Hurtigruten suspended most of its operations after dozens of crew members and several passengers became sick following two different sailings on one of their ships. Earlier this month a second line, the SeaDream Yacht Club, was forced to quarantine its passengers and crew after a passenger from a previous sailing tested positive for the virus. SeaDream Yacht Club is a member of CLIA.
While it may be a while before ocean cruises in the U.S. resume when they do they likely won’t be bursting at the seams. In fact, Carnival Cruise Line’s CEO has said he doesn’t expect ships to sail at full capacity until at least 2022.