CLIA ocean ships to suspend US cruise operations

Unprecedented situation calls for unprecedented response

All Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member ocean-going cruise ships will discontinue operations from and to US ports for 30 days in direct response to the escalating coronavirus COVID-19 situation. The unprecedented measures will come into effect on 14 March 2020.

To date, multiple CLIA member and non-member cruise lines have halted global operations, including Princess Cruises, Windstar, Disney Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Viking and yet-to-launch Virgin Voyages. It’s understood the cruise ship pause was outlined in CLIA’s “comprehensive proposal” submitted to the Trump Administration earlier this week.

In a statement, CLIA’s President and CEO Kelly Craighead said all members are “voluntarily and temporarily suspending operations from the US as we work to address this public health crisis”.

“This is an unprecedented situation. Our industry has taken responsibility for protecting public health for more than 50 years, working under the guidance of the US Centers for Disease Control [CDC] and Prevention, and prides itself on its ability to deliver exceptional vacation experiences for guests, as well as meaningful employment opportunities for crew. This has been a challenging time, but we hope that this decision will enable us to focus on the future and a return to normal as soon as possible.”

All current CLIA member ocean-going cruise lines with ships at sea are focused on the “safe and smooth” return of passengers, the organisation said.

“We do not take this decision lightly, and we want the traveling public to know in no uncertain terms the commitment of this industry to putting people first,” said Adam Goldstein, CLIA Global Chairman.

“During this time, we will continue to work with the CDC and others to prepare for resumption of sailings when it is appropriate. We know the travel industry is a huge economic engine for the United States and when our ships once again sail, our industry will be a significant contributor to fueling the economic recovery.”

Guests who are booked on cruise itineraries impacted by this decision are encouraged to contact their travel advisors or the cruise lines directly.

Lead image: PortMiami file photo

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