CLIA Suspends Cruise Operations From U.S. Ports Through 15SEP
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is suspending all cruise operations from U.S. ports until 15SEP, 2020, the association announced 19JUN.
“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 ," CLIA wrote in a statement.
“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."
The suspension applies to all CLIA members to which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) No Sail Order applied (vessels with capacity to carry 250 persons or more).
"Although we had hoped that cruise activity could resume as soon as possible after that date," CLIA wrote, "it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States."
CLIA said the additional time will allow it to consult with the CDC on measures that will be appropriate for the eventual resumption of cruise operations.
The association said member cruise lines will continue to evaluate the evolving situation and make a determination as to whether a further extension is necessary.
Cruise expert Vanessa Lee says CLIA’s announcement doesn’t come as a surprise, and is a logical step for the ocean-going cruise lines.
"The cruise lines within CLIA are still discussing onboard protocols and working with the CDC to determine a suitable re-entry date. It should be noted, though, that ocean-going cruise ships will sail in other parts of the world prior to lines that sail from US ports, French Polynesia and Norway being such examples,” she said.
In a recent video interview with Open Jaw, Lee reiterated that river cruising in European waters will be one of the first segments of the cruise industry to re-open and carry guests.
Speaking to Cruise Week about the suspension, Carnival CEO Arnold Donald said while he understands people are anxious for answers about when cruise lines will resume sailing and what the protocols will be, extending the suspension is the right decision.
"I hope they also understand that the wise thing to do is, in the moment now, to stand with everyone in mitigating the spread of this virus, which is why our industry volunteered to pause before there was any no-sail order issued," he said.
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.