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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.

Speaking on CNBC's Closing Bell, Frank Del Rio, chairman, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) expressed doubt that NCLH can restart sailing from a U.S. port in July and said that even an August restart is in jeopardy

"It’s all because of the disjointed guidelines from the CDC," Del Rio told viewers. “What we received yesterday was anything but a clear path to restarting.

He also characterized the CDC’s requirements and approach to the cruise industry -- compared with other U.S. businesses -- as “unfair” and “un-American."

On the "restart" front, though, there is good news. American Queen Steamboat Company’s American Empress will begin sailing the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia and Snake Rivers on June 14; full vaccination is required for all guests and crew.

In addition, Holland America Line’sEurodam will begin cruising from Greece in August, also with a guest/crew vaccination requirement.

In other developments:

  • Beginning its Alaska season a bit earlier than expected, UnCruiseAdventures cancelled three Seattle voyages and offered guests replacement Juneau cruises.

  • NCLH will provide $10 million in support to Alaska port communities hard hit economically given the lack of big-ship visits.

  • Princess Cruises unveiled its itinerary line-up for the summer 2023 Caribbean season

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