So much for a return to cruising on August 1; all major cruise lines have agreed to voluntarily suspend operations out of U.S. ports until September 15.
When Carnival Cruise Line announced that it would return to the seas on August 1 the announcement felt a little premature. The world was, and still is, battling the coronavirus pandemic and cruise companies had not, and still have not, laid out a firm plan to keep passengers safe. In fact, during the same time that Carnival was announcing its imminent return to operations on August 1, executives with Royal Caribbean were publicly disagreeing over whether or not the company would continue its traditional buffet service aboard its ships. It was apparent that the cruise industry still had a lot of ground to cover relating to how to deal with coronavirus.
CNBC.com reports that the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) anounced the disappointing news on Friday when it said in a statement that “It is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States.” For the time being, cruise companies hope to return to the seas in the second half of September.
As we have noted many times in this blog, the cruise industry is currently under a no-sail order by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which will run until June 24. This latest voluntary measure will extend that timeframe for approximately an additional two months.