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Cruise Lines Voluntarily Suspend Cruising from US Until September 15, 2020

On June 19th, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the industry's largest trade association, issued the below release, explaining that member cruise lines have suspended service until September 15th, 2020.

Paradise Delayed - Cruising Suspended Until Spet 15

WASHINGTON, DC (19 June 2020)—Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) issued the following statement today to announce that the association’s ocean-going cruise line members will voluntarily extend the suspension of cruise operations from U.S. ports until 15 September 2020.

“Due to the ongoing situation within the U.S. related to COVID-19, CLIA member cruise lines have decided to voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations.  The current No Sail Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will expire on 24 July, and although we had hoped that cruise activity could resume as soon as possible after that date, it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States.

“Although we are confident that future cruises will be healthy and safe, and will fully reflect the latest protective measures, we also feel that it is appropriate to err on the side of caution to help ensure the best interests of our passengers and crewmembers.  We have therefore decided to further extend our suspension of operations from U.S. ports until 15 September.  The additional time will also allow us to consult with the CDC on measures that will be appropriate for the eventual resumption of cruise operations. 

“This voluntary suspension applies to all CLIA members to which the No Sail Order applied (vessels with capacity to carry 250 persons or more). CLIA member cruise lines will continually evaluate the evolving situation and make a determination as to whether a further extension is necessary.”

In 2018, the cruise industry supported over 421,000 jobs in the United States, with every 30 cruisers from U.S. ports supporting one American job. Each day of the suspension of cruise operations in the U.S. results in a total loss of approximately $110 million in economic activity and up to 800 American jobs. For more information about the economic impact of the cruise industry in the United States, including the top ten states benefitting from cruise activity, please visit: CLIA 2018 Economic Analysis.

Cruise Line International Association

It should be noted that many CLIA member lines suspended some or all sailings well past September 15 weeks before today's announcement, though others, including titans like Carnival and Royal Caribbean, had scheduled sailings to start before this date.

Billy's Take

This may not be a shock to many, especially given the recent increase in reported infections in South Florida, where more passengers cruise from than any other place in the world.  Many lines have continuously adjusted sail dates, but this marks only the second time that the industry voluntarily adjusted almost all sailings across the majority of cruise lines.  Remember, if you've been impacted by cancellations, or you're thinking about canceling an upcoming cruise that hasn't been cancelled, we have tips on Taking Advantage of Future Cruise Credits & Price Drops Related to Coronavirus.

Will this be the last delay before cruising starts?  It's impossible to know, and once things begin they almost certainly won't start all at once, with some destinations and lines lagging behind others either out of an abundance of caution, depressed demand, or regulatory considerations.  What we do know is that we have another cancelled cruise in the books, and can't wait to get back to sea as soon as it's safe to do so.  If you're wondering what that looks like, NCL recently gave us an idea, and we talk about it in this video.

Billy Thinking with COVID Hair
Billy Thinking with COVID Hair


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