Cruise ships are set to return to the islands of Hawaii later this month. Once a popular destination for cruise ships to visit as part of their cruising itineraries, the pandemic has seen cruise ships unable to dock in the islands for several months now, depriving passengers of the opportunity to visit the much-loved bucket list destination at all. However, that is set to change in just a few months, with Hawaii securing agreements with cruise lines that meet the requirements of the Conditional Sail Order.
The news is bound to lift the cruise industry, which has been suffering from negative press regarding positive cases on board cruises for several weeks now, and could be just enough to entice those interested in cruise to get back onto the open seas. Here’s everything you need to know about cruises returning to Hawaii, including when they are set to return and which cruise lines are set to benefit from it.
Cruises Return To Hawaii – Information For Travelers
Travelers who have been holding off on booking cruises until the chance to sail to Hawaii was available have been handed some good news this week, following the timely announcement that cruises were set to return to the island from as early as January 15th. The development will be a relief for prospective travelers to the islands, who have been waiting for several months for the opportunity to visit Hawaii. Finally, thanks to agreements between the Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division and some cruise lines, it won’t be long until cruise ships are spotted sailing around the bays of the islands.
The Conditional Sail Order requires cruise lines carrying more than 250 people on board (inclusive of passengers and crew) and with itineraries that included overnight stays to have formal port agreements with local port and health authorities. So far, two cruise lines have reached such agreements with the Hawaiian authorities – Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
The agreements must include:
- Medical agreement regarding the evacuation of passengers or crew in need of care
- Housing agreement in the case of the need for quarantine or isolation for passengers or crew
- Acknowledgement of the public health response resources of the local jurisdictions and vaccination strategies implemented by the cruise lines to minimize risk of spread of Covid-19
Both Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Lines are going a step further in their quest to ensure their cruises are as safe as possible, and to ensure a smooth return to Hawaii by committing to full vaccination rates on board. This development, coupled with both pre and on-board testing and rigorous cleaning and safety standards on board, will help to ensure the return to Hawaii gets off without a hitch, and could help pave the way for further expansions in the future.
Another requirement for the return to Hawaii will see cruise lines needing to participate in the Safe Travels program, Hawaii’s program designed to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. This will see the proof of both testing and vaccination of passengers uploaded in order to prove their status. This requirement is for cruises that are arriving from out of the state, and is not set to apply to cruise lines sailing interisland.
Speaking about the development, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay said:
“We appreciate everyone, including the cruise line representatives, coming together to finalize the required agreements to fulfil the CDC Conditional Sailing Order.”
The CSO is set to expire on January 15th, though it has been extended several times in the past. Regardless, the agreement is set to last until superseded by a new agreement regardless of expiration of the CDC order, and the state retains the right to amend the agreement at any time.
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