Disney Cruise Ship Underway

Disney Cruise Ship departing the port of Miami, Florida. Photo by John Konrad

CDC Says Vaccinated Cruisers Should Avoid Voyages

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August 21, 2021

By Jonathan Levin (Bloomberg) Cruise shares slipped in after-market trading late Friday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said high-risk travelers should avoid cruise ship travel, whether they are vaccinated or not.

“Travelers who are at an increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19 should avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide, regardless of vaccination status,” the CDC said in the updated guidance on Friday.

The CDC defined those at heightened risk as older adults and those with underlying medical conditions and weakened immune systems.

Authorities are still trying to grasp the full extent of so-called breakthrough infections, in which vaccinated people get sick. Hospital officials say the vast majority of those hospitalized and dying from the virus are unvaccinated.

The cruise industry has just recently begun to return to the seas after more than a year without paying customers, and retirees remain a key customer base. The companies initially said they were encouraged by the pent-up demand for voyages, but lately, the fast-spreading Delta variant appeared to be hurting near-term demand somewhat, especially around virus hot spots such as Florida, home to some of the world’s busiest cruise ports.

Shares of Carnival, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. all slipped in late-day trading.

Carnival deferred questions to industry group Cruise Lines International Association, which didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian didn’t immediately respond.

By Jonathan Levin © 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

With the exception of cruise ships operating in Florida, all cruise ships operating in U.S. waters, or seeking to operate in U.S. waters, must comply with the requirements of the CDC Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) and Technical Instructions, even when outside of U.S. waters. Click HERE to see which cruise lines are cleared for sailing in the United States.

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