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CLIA announces cruise lines will extend U.S. cruise suspension through September 15

In:
19Jun2020
By: 
Matt Hochberg

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) trade group announced on Friday that its member cruise lines will extend its voluntary cruise suspension and cancel all cruises from U.S. ports until September 15, 2020.

A statement was issued by CLIA President & CEO Kelly Craighead that the CLIA Global Board of Directors voted to extend the suspension.

Earlier today, the Global Board of Directors voted to voluntarily extend the suspension of U.S. cruise passenger operations until 15 September 2020 for all ships that are subject to the CDC's current No Sail Order (vessels with the capacity to carry 250 or more). We will continually evaluate the evolving situation and make a determination as to whether a further extension is necessary. 

CLIA represents cruise lines, including  Royal Caribbean, Carnival Corp. and Norwegian Cruise Line.

At the posting of this announcement, Royal Caribbean has not issued any statement to corroborate CLIA's announcement. 

Prior to this announcement, Royal Caribbean had August 1, 2020 as its intended date of resuming service (except for China, which could begin in July).

Earlier this week, Norwegian Cruise Line made the announcement it would cancel sailings, but Royal Caribbean said it had not made any decision yet.

CLIA issued a similiar statement on March 14 when the global cruise suspension went into effect for the first time.

"Due to the ongoing situation within the U.S. related to COVID-19, CLIA member cruise lines have decided to voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations.  The current No Sail Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will expire on 24 July, and although we had hoped that cruise activity could resume as soon as possible after that date, it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States."

CLIA hopes this additional time without sailings will provide opportunity to "consult with the CDC on measures that will be appropriate for the eventual resumption of cruise operations."

This voluntary suspension applies to all CLIA members to which the No Sail Order applied (vessels with capacity to carry 250 persons or more). CLIA member cruise lines will continually evaluate the evolving situation and make a determination as to whether a further extension is necessary.

Cruise lines being singled out?

Today's announcement by CLIA specifically mentions the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as playing a key role in the decision and ability of cruise lines to resume cruises again. While cruise ships are waiting for permisison to resume operations, other aspects of travel has reopened.

At least one Wall Street analyst publicly commented that an bias may exist within the U.S. Government that has prevented cruise lines from restarting. 

Despite cruise ships facing government restrictions, casinos, theme parks, movie theaters and many other "high risk" businesses have not only resumed operations, but faced little to no Federal government oversight.

On Tuesday, the CDC updated its website and stated they do not have enough information to say when it will be safe to resume sailing with passengers.