According to the Cruise Lines International Association (aka the CLIA), no cruise ship will depart from a port in the United States until September 15, 2020. This bit of news will come as a disappointment for anyone looking to take a cruise this summer to just get away from it all (if you were feeling that way, we don’t blame you), but it is just another step in the global effort to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
CLIA versus the CDC
Those who have been following the state of the cruise industry and its relation to coronavirus will remember that the CDC set out a No Sail Order for the cruise industry that stated that cruises wouldn’t be able to sail until July 24th. This was a preliminary date offered with the possibility of the No Sail Order being extended, but the CDC has yet to do anything of that sort. Instead, the CLIA evaluated the current state of the pandemic and decided that July 24th was too soon to safely sail. The CLIA said in a statement: “although we had hoped that cruise activity could resume as soon as possible after that date [July 24th], it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States.”
Is this final?
Let’s say it this way: we wish. It seems that even the most conservative estimations for when cruises can resume again have been continually pushed back throughout the course of the pandemic, so we cannot say with any certainty that this will be the true, final date that cruises can resume. The CLIA themselves say that this date is subject to be pushed back later, saying that “CLIA member cruise lines will continually evaluate the evolving situation and make a determination as to whether a further extension is necessary.” This is ultimately the smartest way to play it, even if it leaves travelers somewhat guessing.
Who does this apply to?
While this being limited to CLIA cruise lines might seem like there will be plenty of options for cruises still, this really isn’t the case. A lot (seriously) of cruise lines are part of the CLIA. You can look it up yourself, but some of the names on there include Costa, Carnival, Celebrity, Crystal, Cunard…and that’s not even all of them that begin with the letter C. Even if there are cruise lines out there that aren’t affected directly by this order, it would be wise to expect other cruise lines to follow the lead set by the CLIA.
It’s disappointing, sure, but remember: any step we take that stops the spread will just let things go back to normal quicker! It’s hard, but stay optimistic.