Although the Centers for Disease Control’s No Sail Order currently is expected to expire July 24, all of the major cruise lines operating out of U.S. ports will be suspending operations through September 15. This means that any passengers currently booked on any of the major cruise lines should expect that if their sailing falls before that date, their cruise is effectively cancelled.
“It Is Appropriate To Err On The Side of Caution”
In a statement sent out Friday afternoon, Cruise Lines International Association said that thanks to the ongoing health crisis, their member cruise lines “have decided to voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations. The current No Sail order issued by the [CDC] will expire on July 24, 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.”
This decision impacts all of the major cruise lines sailing out of U.S. ports, as all are members of CLIA. Shortly after the announcement was made, Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald took to his Facebook page in order to read a statement. “We are aware of [CLIA’s announcement] about the industry support of an extension of the voluntary pause in US Cruise operations until September 15,” he said. “We will be notifying our guests and our travel agent partners about our own specific plans on Monday. We appreciate their patience and support.”
The statement went on to say, “We are confident that future cruises will be healthy and safe, and will fully reflect the latest protective measures, as 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. We have therefore decided to further extend our suspension of operations from U.S. ports until September 15. 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.”
Already, Norwegian Cruise Line had announced plans to cancel all of their August and most of their September sailings. CLIA says this new extension applies to all of its members “to which the No Sail Order applied.” Translation: Any ships with capacity to carry 250 or more people. They say that “member cruise lines will continually evaluate the evolving situation and make a determination as to whether a further extension is necessary.”