A trade group representing most of the world's cruise lines called on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to allow ships to begin sailing from American ports again by early July. The C.D.C. has maintained a "no-sail" order on cruise lines since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The lack of any action by the C.D.C. has effectively banned all sailing in the largest cruise market in the world," the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said in a statement on Wednesday. The trade group represents 95% of the global cruise line industry. "Cruising is the only sector of the U.S. economy that remains prohibited, even as most others have opened or continued to operate throughout the pandemic."
The CLIA highlighted on the Biden administration's accelerated roll out of effective vaccines as a catalyst for the overturning of the no-sail order, arguing that the industry is ready to reopen within President Joe Biden's forecast for when the United States will be "closer to normal" by early July.
"Over the past eight months, a highly-controlled resumption of cruising has continues in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific--with nearly 400,000 passengers sailing to data in more than 10 major cruise markets," said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of CLIA, in a statement. "These voyages were successfully completed with industry-leading protocols that have effectively mitigated the spread of COVID-19."
"Cruise lines should be treated the same as other travel, tourism, hospitality, and entertainment sectors," Craighead added.
Outside of the U.S. market, Royal Caribbean
Additionally, the company stated that new itinerary departing through August will sail with a fully vaccinated crew, and will be available to adult guests who are also fully vaccinated and children under the age of 18 with negative COVID-19 test results.
Beyond select summer itineraries, the U.S. cruise line industry has been struggling to remain afloat throughout the year of no new departures.