U.S. CDC Releases New Cruise Guidelines, Canadians Not Allowed Off Coral Princess
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has updated its guidelines for cruise ship travellers during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating significant implications for the cruise industry now, and potentially in the days ahead if cruise ships return to service.
The new guidelines say cruise line companies must get travellers directly to their homes via chartered or private transportation. Commercial flights and public transportation may not be used.
The latest CDC guidelines are already impactingCoral Princess, which arrived in Port Miami Saturday (4APR) morning after several weeks of being stuck at sea with coronavirus cases.
The ship has 97 Canadian passengers among its total of 1,898 guests and crew.
Two people aboard the ship have died and 12 have tested positive for COVID-19, Princess Cruises has said. Dozens more are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
According toCTV News, only those bound for Australia, the U.K. and California have been allowed to leave the ship.
"Princess Cruises continues to work tirelessly to adjust the repatriation plan to meet the new CDC requirements," Princess said yesterday afternoon in a statement.
"This will unfortunately result in further delays in disembarkation and onward travel for many guests as we work through this complex, challenging, and unfortunate situation."
Carnival Corp. Senior VP & Chief Communications Officer Roger Frizzell told Cruise Week that Princess is working to arrange small group charters and individual car transport for its U.S. guests to comply with the updated CDC guidelines.
"Princess has already begun the process with an earlier charter flight already underway -- that included individuals from California -- and additional charter flights scheduled for later tonight that include international guests," he said.
Sources told Cruise Week that it's too early to know for certain how the new CDC guidelines may impact a sailing scheduled to return from a mid-MAY departure.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.