The major cruise lines, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian, have all announced that they will be pushing back their return to operations. Royal Caribbean was the last of the major lines to make the announcement after it signaled today that it would not go forward with its planned voyages in June.
USAToday.com reports that Royal Caribbean International's CEO, Michael Bayley, announced that the company will suspend sailings at least through July 31. But apparently, the company will continue sailings out of China, as Bayley indicated that China will be an exception to the suspension of operations.
Company officials say that despite the suspension of operations, the company is seeing strong demand from travelers. But even as they acknowledge this fact, industry executives are well aware that they must put health and safety first if any return to service is to be successful.
Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean International Ltd., Richard Fain, acknowledged this when he said: "We also need to restore the confidence of many by being transparent in our actions and communicating extensively [our plans]." Royal Caribbean International Ltd. owns and operates Royal Caribbean International and other subsidiaries including Celebrity and Silversea Cruises.
The cruise industry is currently under a Centers for Disease Control no-sail order until July 24. Carnival has indicated that it will return to cruising on August 1, while Norwegian has not indicated when it will return.