CLIA delays cruise restart in the U.S. until Sept. 15

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The Norwegian Escape in New York in 2019. CLIA has postponed the resumption of cruising after the Covid-related shutdown until at least September.
The Norwegian Escape in New York in 2019. CLIA has postponed the resumption of cruising after the Covid-related shutdown until at least September. Photo Credit: Rebecca Tobin

The resumption of cruises from U.S. ports has been pushed back again, as CLIA said in a statement today that its member lines would voluntarily suspend operations until at least Sept. 15.

In a statement, the organization said that although it had originally hoped cruise lines could ramp up operations after the No Sail Order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expired on July 24, "it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States."

The additional time, the statement continued, "will also allow us to consult with the CDC on measures that will be appropriate for the eventual resumption of cruise operations."

CLIA lines voluntarily suspended operations in March after the CDC issued its first No Sail Order when coronavirus cases spiked in the U.S. The No Sail Order was subsequently extended in April

This voluntary suspension applies to vessels with a capacity of 250 passengers or more, and CLIA member cruise lines "will continually evaluate the evolving situation and make a determination as to whether a further extension is necessary," the statement said.

Several cruise lines had cruises slated to depart in early August, such as Carnival Cruise Line, which had tentatively scheduled cruises from Miami and Port Canaveral, Fla., and Galveston, Texas. But Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald has reiterated that there was no hard and fast date for when cruising would return. ""The reality is, it's not so much when cruise decides, it's when society decides it's ready for social gathering," Donald said in an interview late last month.

Norwegian Cruise Line, meanwhile, earlier this week had canceled most of its cruises departing before October.

Earlier this month ASTA criticized the CDC for "uneven" communication on travel safety.  

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