Skip to main content

Cruise lines: We're ready to sail safely


The world's cruise ship operators are pushing to be allowed back to business after more than six months idle, and they say they have the right health and safety protocols ready to go—but it still requires an okay from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, lifting its No Sail Order.

The CDC approval is critical because the U.S. accounts for well more than 50% of the world's ocean cruise customers, and many cruisers from Europe, Canada and elsewhere sail from U.S. ports on Caribbean cruises. CDC has now asked the industry for plans to resume safe cruising.

The industry's plan, put forward by the Cruise Lines International Association, which represents about 95% of ocean cruise companies, includes

  • Testing. 100% testing of passengers and crew for COVID-19 prior to embarkation
  • Mask-Wearing. Mandatory wearing of masks by all passengers and crew onboard and during excursions whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Distancing. Physical distancing in terminals, onboard ships, on private islands and during shore excursions
  • Ventilation. Air management and ventilation strategies to increase fresh air onboard and, where feasible, using enhanced filters and other technologies to mitigate risk
  • Medical Capability: Risk based response plans tailored for each ship to manage medical needs, dedicated cabin capacity allocated for isolation and other operational measures, and advance arrangements with private providers for shoreside quarantine, medical facilities, and transportation.
  • Shore Excursions: Only permit shore excursions according to the cruise operators' prescribed protocols, with strict adherence required of all passengers and denial of re-boarding for any passengers that do not comply.

The proposed rules have picked up vocal support from cities and countries that rely heavily on cruise income. They were collated by CLIA from a variety of sources, including a joint Healthy Sail panel established by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line, as well as MSC's Blue Ribbon group and Carnival Corporation's collection of outside independent experts. The rules are similar to those implemented by MSC, which has resumed limited cruising in the Mediterranean.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Add Comment

Comments (0)

Link copied to your clipboard.