Carnival Cruises and Disney Cruise Line have canceled scheduled cruise departures from US ports until June. A backtrack, in light of the updates on industry guidelines issued by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. A slowdown that could, however, only mean a postponement of the restart of the cruise industry in one of its most prosperous markets.
Disney Cruise Line has announced that it will suspend departures from the United States until June 2021, namely those already scheduled for Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wonder. Also skip the European season on Disney Magic, at least until September 18, 2021, with the exception of departures in the United Kingdom, where “short trips limited to UK residents will be offered for a limited period, pending the issuance of guidelines and authorizations from the British government,” the company states.
Stop also the Disney itineraries in Canada, which are suspended until February 28, 2022, “In light of the Canadian government’s announcement banning ships with more than 100 passengers from docking in domestic ports. Alaskan voyages have stalled. Disney has also canceled departures longer than seven nights.
Carnival Cruise Line also froze all operations from US ports until June 30. “We remain committed to working with the administration and the CDC to find a workable solution that best serves the public health interest,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. We ask that the cruise industry be treated on an equal footing with other travel and tourism sectors, as well as with American society in general “. The senior executive also does not rule out the possibility of moving Carnival Cruise Line ships out of their ports of origin in the United States “to resume our operations that have been on ‘hiatus’ for over a year”.
According to Bloomberg, the CDC would be in line with the desire to resume passenger operations in the United States expressed by many of the major cruise ship operators and travelers “and that this could happen “By mid-summer with departures with limited numbers”.
In particular, it was Clia, the main association of cruise companies, who pointed the finger at CDC on 24 March, stigmatizing the lack of new guidelines, given that those issued in the previous October were “obsolete”. “By doing so – said Clia – CDC has effectively banned the largest cruise market in the world ”.
New directions from the US Centers for Disease Control include increasing the frequency of reporting of Covid-19 cases and diseases from weekly to daily and implementing routine crew testing based on Covid-19 status. ship and establishing a plan and timeline for the vaccination of crew and port personnel.
“Vaccination efforts will be critical to the safe resumption of passenger operations,” the CDC said.
Simulated trips are also planned in a preparatory phase to allow the crew and port personnel to practice the new operational procedures with the volunteers before sailing with the passengers.