CDC Introduces New COVID Tracking System For Ships
This week, the Centers for Disease Control introduced a new COVID-19 tracking system and gave cruise lines until February 18th to decide whether they want to opt into the voluntary program or not.
For ships that opt into the program, there are three classification levels. The top tier is called “Vaccination Standard of Excellence,” and requires at least 95 percent of passengers and crew to have received both their vaccine and booster shots.
Beneath that is the “Highly Vaccinated” classification, which requires 95 percent of passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated, but does not require booster shots.
The third classification a ship can receive is “Not Highly Vaccinated,” which would mean less than 95 percent of crew and passengers are vaccinated.
The CDC also continues to advise against cruising. In response, cruise industry trade association CLIA released a statement voicing their disappointment in the CDC’s latest stance.
Most of Norwegian Sky’s 2023 Sailings Canceled
Norwegian Cruise Line has sent out a letter to their travel partners informing them that most, but not all, of Norwegian Sky‘s 2023 sailings have been canceled.
No explanation was given for the cancellations, which impact all but seven 2023 voyages. 2022 sailings have not, as of now, been impacted.
Sapphire Princess to Restart Cruises in U.S.
Princess Cruises’ ship Sapphire Princess won’t be restarting cruises this summer in Asia and Australia as planned.
Originally, the vessel was supposed to restart in Asia on August 28, and reposition to the U.S. on November 17. Now, the Asia and Australia cruises are canceled and Sapphire Princess will begin sailing from Los Angeles on June 25.
From LA, the ship will operate Mexican Riviera, Hawaii, and California Coast itineraries.
Those affected by the cancellations can either move to an equivalent cruise, choose a 110 percent future cruise credit, or get a full refund.