Cruises May Return by Mid-July
Scott, Rubio, Buttigieg onboard
USA Today is reporting that cruise ships once again may be launching from U.S. ports, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale, as soon as mid-July, depending on cruise lines’ pace and compliance with the CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order. Cruises have been halted for more than a year due to the COVID pandemic.
Royal Caribbean’s chairman and CEO Richard Fain weighed in Thursday morning: “Last night, the CDC notified us of some clarifications and amplifications of their Conditional Sail Order, which addressed uncertainties and concerns we had raised,” Fain said. “They have dealt with many of these items in a constructive manner that takes into account recent advances in vaccines and medical science. Although this is only part of a very complex process, it encourages us that we now see a pathway to a healthy and achievable return to service, hopefully in time for an Alaskan season.”
Florida Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska have been pressuring the CDC to restart the cruise industry through a lawsuit and new legislation. Meanwhile, United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has also expressed his desire to resume cruises this summer.
Cruise stocks briefly rallied on the news before falling back at posting time.
Credit: Holland America Line ships, Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. Photo by Drew Limsky.