In a major boost to the resurgence of the US cruise industry, the International Cruise Lines Association has urged the CDC to withdraw its conditional sailing ban and resume summer cruises.
This follows increasing pressure on the CDC after confusing answers from the CDC director at a recent Senate hearing, a letter from the Mayor of Miami-Dade requesting a meeting with the CDC about resuming cruises, finding alternative ports outside the U.S., etc.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has issued a statement in connection with a new attempt to get approval for cruises from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The organization, which represents 95% of the world’s cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, is urging the CDC to lift the framework of the conditional sailing agreement and allow cruises from U.S. ports beginning in July.
Kelly Craighead, President and CEO of CLIA, stated:
Over the past eight months, the rebound in cruises has continued in Europe, Asia and the South Pacific, with some 400,000 passengers so far in more than 10 major cruise markets.
These flights were successfully conducted using state-of-the-art protocols that effectively contained the spread of COWID-19. Other Mediterranean and Caribbean crossings are planned for spring and summer.
Cruise ships have not been able to leave the US since the CDC issued the first no-fly zone a year ago. A new conditional sailing ban was introduced at the end of October to allow the cruise industry to begin working towards a safe return to sailing.
Since then, however, we haven’t heard much from the CDC. The four-part cruise renewal framework is still in phase 1 and approaching phase 2. Cruise Line has been waiting for months for new technical instructions, and CR is silent on the whole situation.
Craighead pointed out:
The outdated CSO, published almost five months ago, does not reflect the progress and proven successes of the industry in other parts of the world, nor the advent of vaccines, nor the unfair treatment of the cruise sport in other respects. Cruise lines should be treated in the same way as other travel, tourism, hotel and entertainment companies.
While many are against the cruise industry, the fact is that cruise ships have been sailing safely for months. Cruises from Singapore with Royal Caribbean and Dream Cruises have reached more than 100,000 passengers since last year.
MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises and TUI Cruises have already established themselves in the field of passenger and crew safety in Europe and the Canary Islands. And more recently, even the UK, which was hit hard by the 17th century virus. May 2021 allows domestic cruises.
Mr Craighead added:
The cruise industry has set the bar high for innovation around the world, with a series of step-by-step strategies to be revised as conditions change. Our members continue to take this multi-faceted approach to health and safety promotion, which has proven that cruising is one of the best and most customizable travel solutions.
With no news from the CDC, cruise lines have been forced to look for alternative solutions, and the Royal Caribbean Group has already announced new home ports in the Bahamas, St. Maarten and Bermuda. Cruise lines also choose to base their ships outside of Cozumel and Jamaica.
Also read : Could Jamaica be the next destination for a cruise port?
The rollout of vaccines in the United States is going well, allowing cruise lines to offer vaccinated customers safe cruises.
Craighead also noted:
Speeding up vaccine approval is critical to the health and well-being of the population, particularly in the United States, where President Biden hopes vaccines will be available by January 1. May 2021: all adults can be vaccinated.
CLIA reviews protocols that include vaccination when they become widely available. Individual Member States also have their own measures, depending on the country.
It’s worth a read: When will cruises resume in 2021?
The cruise industry has been hit hard since the first suspension of operations in March 2020. According to a BREA study, more than 3,000 jobs have been lost in the United States as a result of the cruise industry’s retreat.
Pressure is mounting on the CDC and we hope to hear from them soon. With so many phone calls last week to arrange a cruise, it’s impossible to ignore. Stay tuned to Cruise Hive to find out when cruises may resume.
Main photo credit: Rob Heiner / Shutterstock.com
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