The cruise industry voluntarily suspended voyages in U.S. waters until “at least” Oct. 31, a month past the date the CDC’s ‘no sail’ order will expire.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced the voluntary suspension Wednesday.
“Despite the valuable alignment between CLIA’s previous voluntary suspension to 15 September and the CDC’s current No-Sail Order date of 30 September, we believe it is prudent at this time to voluntarily extend the suspension of U.S. ocean-going cruise operations to 31 October. This is a difficult decision as we recognize the crushing impact that this pandemic has had on our community and every other industry.”
CLIA’s member lines carry 95% of the world’s oceangoing cruisers. The new order will apply to all CLIA member ships the CDC order applies to – vessels that can carry 250 or more passengers.
The extension comes with caveats. The restart date, Nov. 1, isn’t set in stone. The organization will evaluate the situation and said it will announce whether a further extension will be necessary on or before Sept. 30, the day the CDC’s “no-sail” order is scheduled to end.
If conditions in the USA change to allow short, modified sailings, it will consider an earlier restart according to the CLIA 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, as has occurred twice prior. CLIA cruise line members will continue to monitor the situation with the understanding that we will revisit a possible further extension on or before 30 September 2020. At the same time, should conditions in the U.S. change and it becomes possible to consider short, modified sailings, we would consider an earlier restart.”
According to CLIA’s most recent Economic Impact Study, cruise activity in the United States supports nearly half a million (421,000) American jobs and generates $53 billion annually in economic activity throughout the country.
Each day of the suspension of U.S. cruise operations results in a loss of up to $110 million in economic activity and 800 direct and indirect American jobs.
The impact of the suspension is particularly profound in states that depend heavily on cruise tourism, including Florida, Texas, Alaska, Washington, New York and California.
Coronavirus cases started to pop up on ships that resumed operations around the world.
On August 5th, One of the first cruise ships to resume sailings in U.S. waters since the coronavirus shut down the cruise industry has reported one case of COVID-19 on board the vessel. It carried less than 250 passengers so was exempt from the ban.
On August 4th, 148 passengers were been quarantined on a Paul Gauguin cruise ship after one passenger tested positive for Covid-19.
It was the very first sailing carrying international passengers for the Paul Gauguin Cruise Line since being shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On August 1st, Norwegian cruise company Hurtigruten announced late Friday that four crew members from the 535-passenger Roald Amundsen were admitted to the University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsø, Norway, earlier in the day after the vessel docked in the city.
The CDC supports CLIA’s decision to voluntarily extend its suspension of operations, the organization said in a statement provided to USA Today by spokesperson Caitlin Shockey on Wednesday.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread around the world with no as-yet proven treatment or vaccine,” the CDC said.