Currently, the top question in the cruise industry is when will major cruise lines return to operations. This has been an ongoing question since the coronavirus pandemic caused the industry to shut down in March. Though Royal Caribbean indicates that it will return in September, and Carnival and Norwegian say that they will return in October, some believe that cruising will not until 2021.
Earlier this month an article on the website ThePointsGuy.com reported stated that Greece-based Celestyal Cruises has announced that it will not sail again until March 6, 2021. But Celestyal is a small cruise line operating just two ships in the Eastern Mediterranean. Can Celestyal ‘s decision shed any light on what the major cruise lines may do?
While there is no specific information that would indicate that the major cruise lines’ autumn dates to return to operations will likely fall through, there are indications that the industry is facing major headwinds. Perhaps primary among them is the fact that coronavirus cases are surging and shows no signs of abating.
Website CCN.com points out that earlier this week 59,000 Americans tested positive for coronavirus in a single day, the worst daily total since the pandemic began. This information does not portend well for the cruise industry, whose return seems predicated on developing plans to control the spread of coronavirus.
With no containment of the virus in the offing, it is at best unclear whether cruise companies will be able to return to operations this year, much less this fall.