The Cruise Lines International Association announced this morning that it’s members — which include nearly every line with ships sailing out of American ports — will be suspending sailings until at least November 1, 2020.
All North American cruise companies — including Carnival Corporation (CCL), Royal Caribbean Group (RCL), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), Disney (DIS), and MSC Cruises — are part of the industry trade group.
Why This Isn’t A Huge Surprise
In a statement released Wednesday morning, CLIA said, “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.” They added that their members will “continue to monitor the situation with the understanding that we will revisit a possible further extension on or before September 30, 2020.”
They concluded by saying, “should conditions in the U.S. change and it becomes possible to consider short, modified sailings, we could consider an earlier restart.”
The news is not particularly unexpected, especially in light of recent disastrous attempts by several cruise lines to resume limited sailings.
In the most recent case, an UnCruise sailing in Alaska was cut short after a guest tested positive, resulting in all remaining passengers being quarantined in a hotel while the crew is quarantined onboard.
At least one company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, had already made the decision to cancel October sailings for all three of the brands which operate under their corporate umbrella (Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises).
Only moments before CLIA sent out their official announcement, Royal Caribbean shared that they had “made the tough decision to voluntarily suspend cruise operations through October 31, 2020 (excluding Australia sailings.” They added that the remainder of the 2020 Europe season and the fall Transatlantic sailings had also been cancelled, “along with an additional pause in our China itineraries through September 13, 2020.”
In a statement to their travel partners, Royal Caribbean International said this decision would give them “additional time to solidify our safety measures” and that they were “analyzing every aspect of the cruise experience.”