Norwegian cancels cruises through November, well past the CDC order set to expire Nov. 1

The White House may have cleared the way for cruising to return to U.S. waters Nov. 1, but Norwegian Cruise Line won’t be going out to sea until at least December.

Norwegian’s parent company, which also owns Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, announced Monday that it is suspending all cruises through Nov. 30.

In the meantime, Norwegian Holdings Ltd. said in a press release that it will “continue to work in tandem with global government and public health authorities and its Healthy Sail Panel expert advisors to take all necessary measures to protect its guests, crew and the communities visited.”

It advised guests with reservations on any of its cruise lines to contact them or their travel agent for more details.

Norwegian isn’t the only member of the big three cruise companies to cancel cruises beyond the restart date. On Oct. 1, Carnival Cruise Line announced it was scrubbing all remaining 2020 cruises except those sailing out of its home ports in Florida, and said even those aren’t a sure thing. The third, Royal Caribbean, has suspended cruises through Oct. 31, though it has also canceled transatlantic, European and Australian itineraries beyond that date.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had requested that its “no sail” order be extended to Feb. 15, 2021, but compromised with the White House Task Force to let it run out Oct. 31, four days before the Nov. 3 election, a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly told USA TODAY Sept. 29, one day before the order had been set to expire. The CDC order originally suspended cruising in U.S. waters beginning in mid-March and has been extended multiple times since.

Last month, Cruise Lines International Association, the trade group that represents 95% of world’s the ocean-going passenger ships, unveiled a list of mandatory health and safety changes designed to make it safe to sail during the COVID-19 pandemic – ideally with a phased-in U.S. start commencing before the end of the year.

CLIA’s mandatory “Core Elements of Health Protocols” includes crew and passenger testing, mask wearing, enhanced cruise ship ventilation, stringent response procedures and shore excursion protocols.

The new protocols will apply to all CLIA member vessels that can carry 250 or more passengers. CLIA, which voluntarily suspended sailing in the U.S. until Nov. 1, is requiring each cruise company’s CEO to provide written verification that the elements are being applied to their individual fleets, according to a release shared by Bari Golin-Blaugrund, vice president of strategic communications and public affairs for CLIA.

Contributing: Morgan Hines, USA TODAY

In case you missed: CDC ‘no-sail’ order extension official: Cruise ships will not sail in U.S. waters until Nov. 1

‘False alarm’: Cruise crew who tested positive for COVID-19 in Greece got 3 more tests, all negative

Source: Read Full Article