The top priority continues to be the health and safety of passengers on board.The fact remains that the vast majority of more than 270 cruise ships were not affected by this virus. This is due, in large part, to the aggressive measures adopted by the cruise lines in response to COVID-19 based on prevailing guidance from global health authorities, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Those measures include rigorous screening protocols, enhanced sanitation measures and the availability of onboard medical care and treatment 24/7.
We have ALL the latest updates to help you plan your next cruise vacation.
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MSC Cruises launching 10 ships in Europe this summer
MSC Cruises will launch 10 ships in Europe this summer, adding more confirmed itineraries that offer a breadth of embarkation options to enable more close-to-home cruise options.
CDC Signals Some Cruising Could Return By Midsummer
For the first time, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has signaled that some cruising could restart from U.S. sometime this summer.
“CDC is committed to working with the cruise industry and seaport partners to resume cruising following the phased approach outlined in the conditional sailing order,” the statement said. “This goal aligns with the desire to resume passenger operations in the United States expressed by many major cruise ship operators and travelers; hopefully, by mid-summer with restricted revenue sailings.”
Update: The CDC has now released the next phase of its Conditional Sail Order (CSO) for the cruise industry. This represents the second phase of the CSO, which was introduced at the end of October 2020 to replace the CDC’s previous No-Sail Order.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced Thursday that officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said they would soon issue guidelines for the safe restart of sailing in the United States.
NCLH To Require Guest/Crew Vaccinations, Plans July U.S. Restart
On April 5, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) sent a letter to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlining its plan to resume sailing from U.S. ports, starting July 4, 2021.
Windstar Cruises Will Require Proof Of Vaccination For Guests To Board
The list is growing. Until further notice, Windstar Cruises will require proof of a COVID-19 vaccination for all guests.
Windstar's six, boutique-style yachts carry fewer than 350 guests; these small ships access smaller ports, waterways, and destinations. In a press statement, the line said it arrived at the decision in the best health and wellness interests of its guests, crew, and the places the yachts visit.
In addition, the statement noted: "Many Windstar destinations and some airlines have announced or are considering vaccine mandates, providing further support for the new Windstar policy."
Five New Cruise Ships to Get You Excited About the Industry’s Post-COVID Return
It has been one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began and while the virus affected the whole world, it is arguable that no industry has been as negatively impacted as travel and tourism. Borders were closed to international visitors, hotels turned away guests, and airlines cut capacity across the board.
So, one year out from COVID-19 becoming the major issue in North America, some travel is back on track, with a few destinations even experiencing a renaissance. However, there is one segment of travel that has not been given the chance to restart in North America, and that’s the cruise industry.
Cruising, which has had successful restarts in the Mediterranean and Singapore, and has been approved in the U.K., is still awaiting final CDC approval to restart North America sailing. And while the timetable remains unclear, when it does resume, cruise execs expect pent-up demand to make 2021 a “boom time” for the industry. And that includes new capacity coming online.
Here are just five of the new builds, some of which would have already been sailing if not for COVID-19, set to hit the water once cruising returns:
Despite the virtual shutdown of the cruise industry last year, more than 20 new ocean ships are expected to enter service in 2021. Some were delayed and some were delivered in 2020 but never carried a passenger. Things may still change, but here is an overview of the new ocean cruise ships expected to enter service in 2021, in alphabetical order by the cruise line.
Booking a cruise can be a minefield, with hundreds of cruise lines around the world and thousands of itineraries and ports, not to mention the dizzying number of packages on offer.
It’s no wonder you can end up frazzled before you start. Coupled with that, the internet is rife with conflicting advice – do you book a cruise early or leave it late? Use a travel agent or do it yourself online?
First Look: Walt Disney World's New Star Wars Hotel
Guests will live aboard the Halcyon starship for a two-day, two-night stay, where they will interact with characters and become an active participant in immersive adventures.
Their journey begins at the Galactic Starcruiser Terminal at Walt Disney World, where a launch pod will blast off, taking them to the ship’s location in space. When the Launch Pod docks in the Halcyon opens, guests will step into the ship’s main deck Atrium.
FIRST CRUISE LINE TO SET UP ON BOARD COVID TESTING STATION.
Switzerland-based cruise line Viking has completed construction of the first-ever “full-scale” PCR testing laboratory on a cruise ship, designed to allow for daily COVID-19 testing of all passengers and crew members on the Viking Star.
10 Changes in Shipboard Life that Might Take Getting Used to
Royal Caribbean has issued The Royal Promise, a series of guidelines for guests sailing aboard Quantum of the Seas to assure guests that their health and safety is its top priority as the ship begins a series of cruises from Singapore.
It’s a glimpse of the changes coming when cruising once again starts for Americans and Canadians. And some of them are going to require significant adjustments to life at sea as we know it:
As part of the CLIA’s mandatory health protocols for the controlled resumption of sailings, cruise lines have agreed to 100 percent testing of passengers and crew on all ships, with a negative test required for any embarkation.
CLIA officials claim the testing policy is a first for the travel industry, but did not reveal which types of tests would be administered or the timeline for testing before setting sail.
MSC announces half-price cruise fares for healthcare heroes
GENEVA — MSC Cruises has launched a new global program designed to reward healthcare professionals and their families with discounted cruise fares.
The program, which will be applicable until the end of 2021, thanks frontline and back office healthcare workers for their contribution in fighting the global pandemic.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “As a family-owned company we think it’s only right and proper to find a way to express our heartfelt ‘thank you’ to each and every healthcare professional of the world – as well as their families – for their selfless and tireless dedication, professionalism and bravery in tackling the current global pandemic.”