Why Cruise Ships Aren't Sailing Yet
Originally the CDC banned all cruise ships carrying over 250 people from operating in the United States. Now the CDC has lifted that ban but is requiring all cruise ships get a ‘conditional sailing certificate'.
The certificate will take at least 60 days for cruise lines to obtain from the CDC.
That means that even if cruise lines started the process right away, it will take at least until the beginning of 2021 for them to be awarded the new certificate and resume operations.
Which Cruise Lines Does This Affect?
All United States based cruises carrying more than 250 passengers will not sail before the end of 2020. The Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) which makes up more than 95% of worldwide cruise capacity has also announced they will extend the voluntary suspension of cruising until at least December 31st, 2020.
Large Cruise Lines Confirm They Won't Sail Until 2021
Norwegian Cruises has confirmed that all cruises for the rest of 2020 have been cancelled.
“Your safety is our #1 priority—both on and off our ships. Due to the current global environment, we are extending the suspension of cruises to include all cruises embarking through December 2020.”
“At Royal Caribbean International, our guests and crew's safety and well-being are always our top priorities. After further consulting with our partners at Cruise Lines International Association and in conjunction with the CDC, we have decided to extend the suspension of sailings for our global fleet for all sailings through December 31st, 2020, excluding sailings onboard Quantum of the Seas, with a plan to resume operation on January 1st, 2021.”
Simulated Sailings And Approvals Cause Delay Of Cruising Return
The CDC has launched new strict regulations in order for cruise lines to resume operations in the U.S.
Once a cruise line has demonstrated they have put all health and safety protocols into place, they will be awarded with the conditional sailing certificate.
This process will take up to 60 days and includes simulated sailings to practice the new measures. Passengers can expect big changes if cruising does in fact resume in January.
Will Cruising Return In January?
That is the million dollar question. As we've come to learn over the last 10 months, things can change overnight with the pandemic.
Even though all signs point to a restart in January including a green light from the CDC, there are no guarantees that cruising will finally return at the beginning of 2021.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories