Cruisers were thrilled last Friday when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chose not to renew their no-sail order that had been in effect since March. However, in it’s place the CDC placed what they’re calling a conditional sail order with a laundry list of things cruise lines must do before -passengers can get back on board.
In order to meet these conditions, Norwegian Cruise Line and its sister brands, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas, have announced that they’ve cancelled all cruises through December 2020.
The following update was posted to Norwegian Cruise Line’s website this morning.
On October 30, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (the “Order”), a roadmap for the steps the CDC will require for resumption of cruise voyages in the U.S. The Company will closely review the Order and continue to partner with global and domestic authorities, including the CDC, to chart a path forward. With COVID-19 continuing to impact communities and ports around the globe, we have extended our voluntary temporary suspension of all voyages through December 2020 and previously on cruises on Norwegian Star, Norwegian Spirit, and Norwegian Dawn through March 2021.
Four Phases of Cruising’s Return
The CDC announced that they would implement a four-phase process for allowing passengers back on board. Those phases are outlined below:
1. Establishment of laboratory testing of cruise on board cruise ships in U.S. waters
2. Simulated voyages designed to test a cruise ship operators’ ability to mitigate COVID-19 on cruise ships
3. A certification process to establish to establish previous conditions are met
4. A return to passenger voyages in a manner that mitigates the risk of COVID-19 introduction, transmission, or spread among passengers and crew onboard ships and ashore communities
So first, cruise lines must demonstrate an ability to provide accurate testing on board and prior to embarkation. Then they must complete a trial period with crew to ensure that social distancing, mask wearing and sanitizing are all possible per the CDC’s guidelines. Once they demonstrate that, then passengers will once again be allowed on board for cruises fewer than 7 days in length.
We’ll continue updating you on how cruise lines are doing with their CDC compliance in the coming months!