FILE PHOTO: Cruise ships are seen docked at Miami port as the tourism industry is affected by the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Miami, Florida, U.S., March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
International cruise lines have extended their self-imposed sailing suspension from U.S. ports until September 15 amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced the extension on Friday.
The extension of the voluntary suspension comes despite CDC’s expiration of its current No Sail Order on July 24.
“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 said. “The current No Sail Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will expire on 24 July, and although we had hoped that cruise activity could resume as soon as possible after that date, it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States.”
“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 statement from CLIA said. “We have therefore decided to further extend our suspension of operations from U.S. ports until 15 September. The additional time will also allow us to consult with the CDC on measures that will be appropriate for the eventual resumption of cruise operations.”
CLIA said the voluntary suspension applies to all of the association’s members, which includes the brands of Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, the three market leaders.
Carnival Cruise Line, which already had suspended sailings through August 30, said in a statement it was aware of the announcement and it will notify guests and travel agents of its own specific plans on Monday.
Royal Caribbean had previously suspended sailings through July 31, while Norwegian had been scheduled to resume sailings no earlier than August 30.
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