Cruise Companies Backtrack On Plans to Return to the Sea

Just several weeks ago it seemed that the cruise industry would make a roaring comeback in August and attempt to mount a return to sailing from there. Cruise line executives were citing significant demand among the public as proof that the industry would survive the devastation wrought by coronavirus. But the cruise executives’ more recent statements are casting doubt on a speedy return to the seas.

In a stunning reversal, reports that Carnival Cruise Line CEO Arnold Donald has revealed that the world’s largest cruise line will likely not return to the season August 1 as previously announced. Donald says that he is not sure when the company will set sail again and that the previous communication citing an August 1 date was sent out in error.

Even as Carnival backtracks from its planned resumption of cruising other cruise lines are also indicating that they are unsure when they will return. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, which along with Carnival form the three largest cruise lines in the world, have indicated that they are unsure when they will return to business. Meanwhile, Disney Cruise Line has canceled many cruises into the fall and Cunard has also canceled all summer cruises. 

The cruise industry is currently under a U.S. Centers for Disease Control no-sail order which will run through July 24. Though cruise lines may be legally permitted to sail after that date it is still unclear as to how they will be able to do so in a manner that is safe in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.