Late last week we blogged about recent CDC guidelines which could keep cruise ships from sailing in U.S. waters for 100 days. A USA Today investigation has revealed that by the time the announcement was published on the CDC's website, the no-sail provision had been softened.
The report notes that the summer season is the cruise industry's most profitable time period, and seems to speculate that the change in policy might reflect an attempt by the Trump Administration to throw the industry a lifeline. “Sorry to do this, but the Office of the Vice President has instructed us to pull the No Sail Order Extension from the website immediately,” the report quotes a senior CDC official as saying.
The cruise industry has suffered greatly since the outbreak of coronavirus began. Well over a thousand cruise travelers contracted the virus while sailing aboard cruise ships and over a dozen have died. Cruise stocks are down over 70% from recent highs as investors dumped the companies' stocks in recent weeks.
But despite all of the bad news, there are glimmers of hope. A recent study showed that cruise bookings for 2021 are up when compared to the same time in 2019.