CDC advises against taking cruises
Health body says the “risk of Covid-19 on cruise ships is very high”
A number of cruise lines have extended their suspensions after a public health institute in the US advised against cruising.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that all people avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide. It said this was because the “risk of Covid-19 on cruise ships is very high.”
On October 30, the CDC issued a Framework for Conditional Sailing Order for cruise ships operating or seeking to operate in US waters. The order introduced a phased approach for resuming cruises, with passenger operations suspended during the initial phases. The initial phase also requires crew screening to determine the prevalence of Covid-19 among all crew members currently on cruise ships in US waters.
The CDC said it is especially important that people with an increased risk of severe illness avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruise. It added that “cruise passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including Covid-19” noting that outbreaks of Covid-19 have been reported on cruise ships.
It said that US travellers who decide to go on a cruise should get tested three-five days after the trip and stay home for seven days after travel – even if testing negative. It added: “If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 14 days after you travel.” More information is available here.
Holland America Line has since announced that it is extending its pause of cruise operations for all departures up until March 31 2021, bringing it in align with Carnival sister brand, Princess Cruises.
The line also will cancel select longer voyages, and cruises of eight days or longer that call in the United States until November 1 2021. Cruises impacted are:
- All cruise departures from January 1 through March 31, 2021.
- Cruises of eight days or more that call at a US port through Nov. 1, 2021.
- Select longer voyages in Asia, Australia/New Zealand and South America through mid-April 2021. Some departures will be rescheduled to comparable dates in 2022.
Sister brand Princess Cruises has also cancelled all cruises through to March 31, 2021 as well as all cruises longer than seven days in and out of the United States through to November 1, 2021.
Japanese cruises have been cancelled through to June 25, 2021.
“We are focused on preparing our ships to meet the CDC health and safety requirements for our eventual return to service,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “We also appreciate the continued support we have received from our guests, partners and travel advisors, reinforcing for all of us why we do what we do.”
P&O Cruises has extended its pause in operation until April 2021. The line’s president Paul Ludlow said: “With hopeful news headlines clearly we do not want to extend our pause in operations any further than absolutely necessary, but given the ever changing guidance around international travel and the varying regulations in many European ports of call we felt it prudent to cancel these additional dates.
“In addition, as the final payments are due for these cruises very soon we felt it was the right thing to do for our guests. We are so sorry to disappoint those who were due to travel but really hope they will re-book for later in the year or for our new programme of 2022 holidays which went on sale earlier this month with strong demand, showing great confidence in cruising in the future.”