coronavirus

Cruise Lines Urge CDC to Allow Sailings From U.S. Ports to Resume in Early July

Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images
  • The trade group for the world's biggest cruise lines on Wednesday called on the CDC to allow a phased-in resumption of sailings from U.S. ports in early July.
  • Cruise lines said their time frame is in line with President Joe Biden's goal for when the U.S. will be "closer to normal."
  • With hotels, casinos and airlines starting to see a recovery in bookings, most cruise ships remain idle.
Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Sea cruise ship is docked at PortMiami on March 2, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Sea cruise ship is docked at PortMiami on March 2, 2021 in Miami, Florida.

The trade group for the world's biggest cruise lines on Wednesday called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow a phased-in resumption of sailings from U.S. ports in early July.

In a press release, Cruise Lines International Association President Kelly Craighead argues the CDC's stance does not reflect the current conditions of the pandemic or the accelerated rollout of Covid vaccines.

The cruise lines said the early July time frame is in line with President Joe Biden's goal for when the U.S. will be "closer to normal." In his first prime-time address to the nation as president, Biden said earlier this month that Americans should be able to gather in person with their friends and loved ones in small groups to celebrate the Fourth of July.

With hotels, casinos and airlines starting to see a recovery in bookings, most cruise ships remain idle, waiting for the CDC to make a decision on when to let U.S. sailings resume. It's now been over 12 months since the cruise lines suspended all U.S. sailings due to Covid.

"Cruise lines should be treated the same as other travel, tourism, hospitality, and entertainment sectors," CLIA's Craighead said in the release.

While some cruises have resumed some sailings in Europe and Asia, the U.S. still represents the largest market, and it's where the industry derives a majority of its profits.

Some cruise operators have been looking at alternative options to welcome customers back on board, especially during the crucial summer sailing season.

Royal Caribbean announced two new sailings — one from its new home port of Nassau, Bahamas, and another from Bermuda. Both cruises will set sail in June and will not stop at any U.S. ports. Instead, Royal Caribbean will take advantage of its private island, Perfect Day CocoCay, and also stop at Cozumel, Mexico.

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