NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The cruise industry’s self imposed 30-day shutdown is now projected to extend even further, signaling even more bad news for the country’s cruise segment, downtown merchants and those reliant on the cruise business.
All major cruise companies agreed to suspend new cruises on March 13 for at least 30 days in response to the pandemic.
It followed a March 8 warning against cruising issued by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention because of the increased risk of coronavirus infection on ships. On March 30, cruise ships canceled cruises into May.
The CDC has now extended its no sail order until late July, or until the COVID-19 pandemic is declared over.
The order forbids cruise ship companies from operating within US territorial waters. It also requires those companies to come up with plans on how they will deal with COVID-19, which are then subject to review and approval by both the CDC and the US Coast Guard.
On the heels of that announcement, Carnival Cruise Line announced Monday it is canceling all US cruises through June 26. The company had previously said it would resume cruising on May 12.
Under previous orders, the CDC had recognized the voluntary 30-day suspensions taken by Norwegian, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and others.