Major Cruise Lines Cancel Cruises Through November, Past CDC's No Sail Order
Just one week after the Center for Disease Control (CDC) extended its No Sail Order to October 31, Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. have canceled all sailings through November.
The CDC order originally suspended cruising in US waters beginning in mid-March. Since then, it has been extended multiple times.
On Tuesday, Royal Caribbean Group, announced it was extending its own operational suspension through the end of November. This announcement will adhere to all subsidiaries of the parent company, which include Royal Caribbean International, Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises,
However, Royal Caribbean Group is still planning on going forward with Hong Kong cruises scheduled for November.
Celebrity and Azamara have canceled additional sailings. Celebrity Cruises suspended its full 2020/21 winter program in Australia and Asia. Likewise, Azamara canceled its 2020/21 winter sailings in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America.
On October 1, Carnival Cruise Line announced it cancelled all remaining 2020 cruises except those sailing out of its home ports in Florida. However, given current restrictions and orders, even those aren't a sure thing.
Norwegian Cruise Line's parent company, which also owns Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, announced Monday that it suspended all cruises through the end of November as well.
Norwegian Holdings said in a news release that it will "continue to work in tandem with global government and public health authorities and its Healthy Sail Panel expert advisors to take all necessary measures to protect its guests, crew and the communities visited."
Norwegian Holdings executives have advised guests with reservations on any of its cruise lines to contact Norwegian or their travel agent for more details.
While select sailings have already resumed in Europe, MSC Cruises extended the suspension of voyages for certain itineraries and ships through the end of November as well.
"This includes all Caribbean and Bahamas cruises including sailings on MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia; and, all Mediterranean and Far East cruises - with the exception of MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica, sailing in the Mediterranean with guests from Schengen countries only," said Luca Biondolillo, chief communications officer for MSC Cruises.
MSC plans to restart operations in the US after approval from the CDC and other authorities.
The CDC requested that its No Sail Order be extended to February 15, 2021, but compromised with the White House Coronavirus Task Force to let it run out October 31.
Last month, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) unveiled a list of mandatory health and safety changes designed to make it safe to sail during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Universal mask wearing, physical distancing, COVID-19 testing, and increasing fresh air into ventilation systems are just some elements required to allow cruising to return. The CLIA hopes to allow cruise lines to begin operating in the US by the end of 2020.
While the CDC's No Sail Order is set to expire on October 31, 2020, there is still no set date that cruises will return to US waters.