Cruise lines suspend US sailing until mid-September over COVID-19 concerns

Voluntary suspension could be extended

Complications linger as cruise lines await green light to resume sailings
Complications linger as cruise lines await green light to resume sailings

The world’s largest cruise line trade group announced Wednesday its members will suspend sailing from U.S. ports until at least September 15 due to the ongoing global pandemic.

Cruise Lines International Association, which includes most ocean, river and specialty cruise lines, issued a statement Wednesday to announce that the association’s ocean-going cruise line members will voluntarily extend the suspension of cruise operations from U.S. ports due to the coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order that expires July 24 but cruise lines will voluntarily extend suspensions, according to CLIA. Previously, come cruise lines had said they would resume sailing in August.

“Due to the ongoing situation within the U.S. related to COVID-19, CLIA member cruise lines have decided to voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations. The current No Sail Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will expire on 24 July, and although we had hoped that cruise activity could resume as soon as possible after that date, it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States,” the statement read.

“Although we are confident that future cruises will be healthy and safe, and will fully reflect the latest protective measures, we also feel that it is appropriate to err on the side of caution to help ensure the best interests of our passengers and crewmembers. We have therefore decided to further extend our suspension of operations from U.S. ports until 15 September. The additional time will also allow us to consult with the CDC on measures that will be appropriate for the eventual resumption of cruise operations,” the statement continued.

The voluntary suspension applies to all CLIA members with the capacity to carry 250 people or more at sea.

It’s possible the suspension could extend past mid-September.

“CLIA member cruise lines will continually evaluate the evolving situation and make a determination as to whether a further extension is necessary,” according to CLIA.

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