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.
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Richard Fain: Unvaccinated guests will face hassles
Unvaccinated adults who cruise on a Royal Caribbean International ship will face more restrictions and higher costs than guests who are vaccinated for Covid-19, Royal Caribbean Group CEO Richard Fain said Monday.
Four cruise brands, four plans to satisfy CDC requirements
Over the course of four days this month, the four largest cruise lines laid out plans for the summer in which they demonstrated that, after a year of walking in lockstep as an industry, they are taking very different paths toward a restart.
MSC Cruises To Resume Sailing From U.S. This August
MSC Cruises this week announced its restart plans for cruising from U.S. ports beginning this August. The announcement follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s approval of the company’s “Phase 2A Port Agreements” for PortMiami and Port Canaveral, as well as the provisional approval of its request to conduct a simulation cruise, to be held on MSC Meraviglia from PortMiami on July 17, 2021.
CDC approves Carnival's plans to sail from three ports
Cruise lines are making agreements with ports around the country to comply with the CDC's requirement that procedures are in place to prevent Covid-19 transmission on ships and in ports and that there is a public health plan in the event that cases are discovered.
Carnival Corp. said Friday that it had received CDC approval for port agreements it made with the first three homeports it plans to launch operations from: PortMiami, the Port of Galveston and Port Canaveral.
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Disney Dream conducting test cruise in late June
The CDC has approved a two-night test sailing of the Disney Dream on June 29 from Port Canaveral, Fla.
In a letter to Disney Cruise Line crew, Thomas Mazloum, president of Disney Signature Experience, called the approval “a critically important milestone for Disney Cruise Line,” reported Crew Center.
Azamara’s newest ship will spend its first season in the Mediterranean after being christened on an inaugural cruise from Monte Carlo.
The Azamara Onward will be Azamara’s fourth vessel. It will debut in spring 2022 and offer 22 European itineraries and three new land explorations. The ship’s maiden cruise will begin in Monte Carlo and end in Venice.
CRUISESCelebrity Cruises To Be First Cruise Line To Sail From U.S. On June 26
“Someday is here.” That was the one-line tweetCelebrity Cruises CEO and president Lisa Lutoff-Perlo used to announce the news that on Saturday, June 26, Celebrity Edge will be the first cruise ship to sail from U.S. waters in more than a year. Captain Kate McCue, according to Celebrity, the first and only American female captain, will have the honor of leading the fleet—and the industry—back into operation.
Royal Caribbean gets nod from CDC to conduct a test sailing
Royal Caribbean International became the first cruise line to receive CDC approval to conduct a test sailing, with the Freedom of the Seas approved to do a simulated voyage from June 20 to 22.
"After 15 months of hard work and collaboration, today's approval of our simulated cruises is the latest promising step in our path to return to sailing in the U.S.," Royal Caribbean said in a statement.
The Hong Kong government is targeting end-July to restart its cruise sector, giving the green light to two cruise lines to resume short sailings from the city.
Genting Cruise Lines will be offering 2- and 3-night Super Summer Seacations on the Genting Dream, the flagship of Dream Cruises fleet that features accommodation in the Balcony Staterooms and the "all-inclusive, all-suite" The Palace.
Norwegian Cruise Line revealed the deployment plan for eight additional ships, a fall lineup that includes six vessels departing U.S. ports and its first sailings from Panama City.
Norwegian canceled its planned sailings on the Norwegian Joy from Montego Bay, Jamaica this summer, saying that it will transfer crew from that ship to Alaska due to the lead time needed to launch the Norwegian Bliss from Seattle Aug. 7 and "maximize the short Alaska cruise season."
As the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act clears another hurdle, Princess, HAL announce summer 2021 Alaska
TORONTO — The first cruise ship itineraries to restart out of the U.S. for summer 2021 could be Alaska sailings that bypass Canadian ports, with today’s news that the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, followed hours later by word of new Alaska sailings announced by Princess and Holland America Line starting this July.
Cruising in Alaska gets one step closer to reality as House passes PVSA waiver
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that temporarily relieves cruise ships sailing in Alaska of the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) restrictions for as long as Canada's cruise ban is in place.
2021 Travel Restrictions: The Latest Restart Dates for Every Major Cruise Line
It's been an entire year since cruise lines were forced to suspend operations due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic but many companies are still on standby in terms of the resumption of cruise operations. Here's where the major cruise lines stand as of spring 2021.
Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils Its New Norwegian Prima
When the ship launches in summer 2022, the vessel will be the first of six in the Prima class, with one ship set to launch annually through 2027. Prima will sail to the Caribbean, Bermuda and Iceland & Northern Europe, and its itineraries are on sale as of today.
CDC Update: U.S. Cruises Could Resume as Early as This Summer
Editor's Note: This piece was originally published on April 30, 2021. It has been updated to reflect the CDC's latest guidance, released on May 5 and May 12.
After continued calls for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to allow cruise travel to resume from the U.S. as soon as possible, the government agency finally gave a glimmer of hope for resumption starting this July.
“Over the past month, senior leadership from the CDC has met twice weekly with representatives from cruise lines to discuss the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO),” according to a statement from the CDC. “Within these meetings, participants asked questions and discussed the fastest path back to sailing without compromising safety. Today, in response to the industry’s feedback, the CDC announced five key clarifications with the existing CSO framework.”
When it comes to itineraries, cruise lines up the ante every year, offering more ports, harder-to-reach locales and ever more creative themes. And when ships begin returning to service in earnest after the long pandemic pause, many cruise lines will debut some of their unique itineraries.
Here are a few of the most intriguing ones on offer over the next few years.
Atlas Ocean Voyages' 2022 Valentine's Day Antarctica itinerary will offer complimentary marriage ceremonies for couples seeking what the line is calling, "the most adventurous destination wedding on Earth."
A new Uniworld 46-night cruise will explore some of the world's great rivers
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is launching a 46-night Rivers of the World Cruise in 2023 that will take travelers from Egypt to Portugal across nine countries on five different ships, the company announced today.
It's a first-of-its kind itinerary from Uniworld and comes on the heels of AmaWaterways this spring announcing the launch of two 45-night, seven-river European cruises in 2023.
"At Uniworld, we always have elevation at top of mind and strive to continuously take steps forward in fresh and exciting ways," said Ellen Bettridge, president and CEO of Uniworld.
This Week In Cruise: CDC Update And Two Major Cruise Restarts
It was a mixed bag of news – some good, some bad -- for cruise industry recovery last week. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) finally issued all technical details needed for cruise lines to begin simulated voyages and provided the Conditional Sail Order application.
But the CDC’s instructions “confirm that there is a lot of work to do in order to achieve the goal of sailing from U.S. ports this summer,” said Cruise Lines International Association.
Norwegian Cruise Line unveils name of new ship and class: Prima
Norwegian Cruise Line's next new ship, slated to launch in summer 2022, will be named the Norwegian Prima, the first in a class of the same name.
The Prima class, which has until now been called Project Leonardo, will have six 3,215-passenger vessels. The ship, under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, is a departure for the line, which has mostly worked with German shipyard Meyer Werft.
Cruising From U.S. Waters Could Restart By Mid-July, CDC Says
In a letter to the cruise industry by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it said that cruising could restart by mid-July in U.S. waters. The letter was obtained and reported by USA Today.
Top 10 reasons to sail Alaska with Cunard.Two extraordinary experiences come together when you sail
1. Queen Elizabeth — the perfect ship for Alaska.
Our Cunard Queen is large enough to offer all the activities, amenities and signature Cunard experiences including Gala Evenings and afternoon tea that you desire, while carrying fewer guests than other ships her size.
MSC Cruises reveals details of Taranto beach experience
MSC Cruises today revealed a first look at its new beach experience in Italy, the first of what it said will be similar offerings for guests in order to provide off-ship beach time on bubble excursions.
Princess Introduces 2022-2023 West Coast Cruises On Six Ships
Princess Cruises announced its 2022-23 cruise season with new offerings on six ships—including the line's newest, Discovery Princess—to Mexico, the California coast, as well as Hawaii and Tahiti. Voyages open for sale on April 28, 2021. In total, Princess will offer 78 departures on 19 itineraries sailing roundtrip from Los Angeles, San Francisco or Vancouver, B.C.
Crown Princess, Discovery Princess, Grand Princess, Majestic Princess, Ruby Princess and Sapphire Princess will visit 25 destinations in six countries. All Princess' ships now offer the onboard Princess MedallionClass experience for high-speed Internet and a technology-enhanced approach to personalized cruising.
American Cruise Lines' full 13-ship fleet to sail in the U.S. this spring
American Cruise Lines (ACL) has been sailing coastal U.S. cruises for more than a month, the first cruise line to resume ocean cruise operations in the U.S. in the past year, with the launch of its 100-passenger Independence from Florida on March 13.
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.”