Eligibility For Ship Color Status
The color-coding system is only applicable to foreign-flagged cruise ships operating or planning to operate in U.S. waters, including cruise ships operating outside of U.S. waters if the cruise ship operator intends for the ship to return to operating in international, interstate, or intrastate waterways subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. U.S-flagged cruise ships previously covered under the CSO may also continue to participate voluntarily. Status of ships is dependent upon daily submission of the Enhanced Data Collection during COVID-19 Pandemic form.
CDC has confirmed that the ships listed in the table below are operating under health and safety protocols that align with CDCs standards for protecting passengers, crew, port personnel, and communities by mitigating the public health risks posed by COVID-19. Gray-designated ships may have their own COVID-19 health and safety protocols, which CDC has not reviewed or confirmed.
When a cruise ship operating under the CSO notifies CDC of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 on board, CDC determines whether an investigation is needed, based on a predetermined investigation threshold. This investigation threshold gives CDC and the cruise industry the ability to work closely together to protect the health and safety of those on board and in communities.
When Are Cruise Lines Around The World Expected To Resume Service
— With many ocean and river cruise lines gradually returning to service around the world after a long pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping track of the seemingly minute-by-minute changes to the cruise industry can be challenging.
We’ve got you covered, with the latest information on when cruise lines will resume cruising — and which ones have already started. The information here will be regularly updated, though return to service dates are subject to change based on a variety of factors.
For a look at which cruise lines require full vaccination against COVID-19 as they resume service, visit our
Have Any Cruises Been Cancelled
Some cruise lines are altering itineraries and delaying the restart of some of their ships. Two of Regent Seven Seas Cruises ships now wont return to service until March, while Norwegian has cancelled or delayed departures of eight of its ships one, Norwegian Pearl, had to cancel a cruise this month after just two days due to covid cases on board.
Cruise lines that had planned round-South America cruises are also having to make changes. Brazil is closed to cruise ships, while both Chile and Argentina have such strict entry requirements that operating cruises in either has become extremely difficult.
There may well be further cancellations but all cruise lines offer flexible booking now and will work hard to get you booked on an alternative voyage if yours is cancelled, or if you need to make a change.
The Eden Balcony on the Celebrity Edge
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Are Cruise Ships Sailing Again
AFTER ALMOST 18 dormant months in the age of Covid 19, cruise lines are increasingly beginning to sail again. American Cruise Lines launched from Florida in March. Crystal Cruises resumed operations, with two vessels sailing in the Bahamas, in July. The 2022 itineraries on Viking Ocean Cruises are almost fully booked.
Independence Of The Seas
- Cruising from: Galveston, Texas since August 15, 2021
- Vaccine Requirement: Yes, for all passengers 12 and up
- Testing Requirements: Must present a negative result from a test within 48 hours at check-in, unvaccinated kids ages 2-11 must present a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of check-in
- Onboard: Masks required indoors except when actively eating or drinking, and in some other scenarios
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The Restart Is Underway
The restart of cruise operations is underway by multiple cruise lines already and more will begin resuming through the remainder of 2021. The two largest cruise lines for Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean have already restarted with a limited number of ships from the US as the situation theres is moving forward quickly.
The Celebrity Edge cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean group became the first to restart operations with regular passengers from the US which departed on June 26 out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Freedom of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean International, was the first cruise ship to be approved for a test sailing at the end of June. That was then followed by the vessel resuming out of Miami, Florida on July 2, 2021.
When it comes to Carnival Cruise Line, as of July 21, a total of three ships have already restarted sailings. Carnival Vista was the first to resume in the fleet when she departed Galveston, Texas on July 3, 2021. Carnival Horizon was then the second in the fleet to resume when the ship departed out of Miami, Florida on July 4, 2021. Carnival Breeze was then the third in the fleet and resume from the Port of Galveston on July 15.
In Canada, the situation has just recently made a major step forward towards reopening for cruise ships. On July 15, the government announced that from that have a capacity of over 100. As long as cruise lines follow the health protocols, then they will be able to resume from that date.
Whats The Situation Regarding Family Cruises This Winter
To sail to the Caribbean, some cruise lines including Disney Cruises, P& O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises are asking that children from age five upwards are fully vaccinated. This rule has been introduced now that over-fives in the US, the worlds biggest cruise market, are being offered the Pfizer vaccine. It makes sailing with these lines almost impossible for British families planning a Caribbean cruise this winter, as were not yet double-vaccinating five-year-olds.
Under-fives must have a negative PCR test before travel and all passengers, regardless of vaccine status, will still need to take a PCR test before embarking the ship. Whether other cruise lines follow suit remains to be seen.
If youre travelling to Europe, most lines say that unvaccinated children can sail but must have a negative PCR test before embarking. You wont be allowed ashore independently, either, if your children arent double vaccinated, only on the cruise lines official bubble excursions.
Another thing to bear in mind is that childrens clubs on some ships will operate at limited capacity, so you may need to book in advance. P& O Cruises says its night nursery, a much-loved feature by parents, wont be operating for the time being.
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Cruise & Maritime Voyages
The British-based cruise line has extended its hold on cruises through August 25, 2020. This is due to the lockdown still being in place in many countries along with port closures. Read the details here.
Update 1: The cruise line has gone unto administration and will likely no longer continue its business. As of now, all cruises are canceled permanently. More details about this are here.
- Cruises Resume: Never
- Official Advisory:
Vaccination Status Matters A Lot
Many ships are sailing with a vaccine requirement as they restart operations. Even those that arent requiring passengers to be vaccinated will ask about your status as part of an extensive health screening.
In the United States, those with at least 95% of passengers and crew fully vaccinated are allowed to relax safety rules. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, operators of those cruises may advise passengers and crew that they do not have to wear a mask or maintain physical distance in any areas.
If fewer than 95% of passengers are vaccinated on a ship, there may be areas designated for those who have gotten the shot. In those vaccinated-only areas, passengers can go without a mask. But in other indoor areas where all passengers are together, both vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers may have to wear masks unless they are eating and drinking. Those who are not vaccinated also have to pay for extra tests.
The CDC recommends that people who are not fully vaccinated avoid cruise travel.
Although she is vaccinated, McDaniel had to wear a mask in many indoor venues on Freedom of the Seas, which sailed from Miami with both vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers.
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Royal Caribbean Celebrity Cruises Cancel Cruises What To Know If You’re Scheduled To Sail
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises have canceled more sailings, becoming the latest cruise lines to be impacted by the recent omicron-led surge of COVID-19 cases.
Celebrity Cruises, which is part of the Royal Caribbean Group, has delayed the return to service of its Celebrity Eclipse ship so the cruise line can “focus on our ships currently sailing in the Caribbean and our brand-new ship launching in April,” a company spokeswoman, confirmed to Travel + Leisure on Tuesday. The Celebrity Eclipse was initially scheduled to launch at the end of March. The cancellation also impacts four previously scheduled Pacific Coast sailings.
Affected guests can choose to either receive a full refund or rebook on a different, comparable Pacific Coast sailing this year.
Celebrity currently requires all guests who are eligible to be vaccinated as well as show proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test taken within two days of embarkation, according to the cruise line.
Royal Caribbean has canceled the Jan. 22 sailing on its Independence of the Seas ship, due to “the ongoing COVID-related circumstances around the world,”according to the company. The cancellation follows Royal Caribbean’s previous decision to pause sailings on four of its other ships: the Serenade of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, and Vision of the Seas.
A spokesman for Royal Caribbean did not immediately respond to a request for comment from T+L.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines
Original Update: The UK-based cruise line has announced an extension on cancelled cruises just like many other cruise operators. However, the cruise line has not announced a return date and is keeping it open.
Update 1: Fred Olsen has now announced some return dates for its ships towards the end of the year and into 2021.
Update 2: A lot has been going on with the British-based cruise line with two new ships purchased from Holland America Line and new return dates.
Update 3: The cruise line has decided to cancel cruises into 2021 due to the ongoing uncertainty around the world.
Update 4: Fred Olsen Cruises has announced more specific return dates for three cruise ships starting from the end of Spring 2021.
Update 5: In the latest cancellation update, the cruise line removed specific return dates for each ship and now expects all its vessels to start resuming sailings up until the end of June 2021. However, Braemar will remain on hold for much longer until Spring 2022.
Update 6: Fred Olsen will follow several other UK-based cruise operators by offering residents UK domestic sailings to nowhere. Borealis will be the first ship to start from Liverpool on July 5. She will then be followed by Balmoral and Bolette out of different homeports.
- Cruises Resume: End of June/Early July 2021
- UK Domestic Cruises Resume:
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You Can Cancel If Youre Worried
If youre booked on a cruise in the coming weeks, and youre having second thoughts, theres a good chance you can get out of your trip. Many lines continue to be far more flexible than normal about cancellations.
Take cruise giant Carnival Cruise Line. Its current flexible cancellation policy allows passengers to cancel as long as a public health emergency remains in effect and receive 100% of the cruise fare paid in the form of a future cruise credit. Passengers are also able to cancel if they test positive for COVID-19.
Another large line, Norwegian, just last week extended its pandemic-era Peace of Mind policy to allow passengers to cancel any sailing taking place between now and May 31. For now, the cancellation needs to be done by Jan. 31, and the refund would come in the form of a future cruise credit to be used on any sailing that embarks through Dec. 31.
That means you could call the line right now to back out of a cruise that is just days away. In normal times, youd lose all your money if you backed out of a seven-night Norwegian cruise with fewer than 31 days notice.
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Is Royal Caribbean Cruising In 2021
In summer 2021, Royal Caribbean will restart cruises in the Caribbean and Europe on select ships, and there is plenty you should know about booking, planning, and going on a summer cruise. After more than a year of no cruises, Royal Caribbean is going to restart cruises in the United States, Caribbean, and Europe.
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The Cdc Says To Avoid Cruising For Now
On Dec. 30, the CDC added cruise ships to its list of Level 4 destinations you should avoid visiting for now due to high levels of COVID-19.
For what its worth, more than 80 countries around the world including a good chunk of all the places you might want to travel are on this list. So, the CDC is basically telling you that now isnt a good time to travel. Fair enough. But the warning shouldnt be seen as a call-out on any elevated risk to cruising as opposed to visiting other places, per se.
Places on the Level 4 list currently include Canada, much of Europe and nearly every country in the Caribbean.
The cruise industry has been highly critical of the designation, arguing that cruise ships are far safer places to be right now than almost anywhere else, given their strict health protocols.
The decision by the CDC to raise the travel level for cruise is particularly perplexing considering that cases identified on cruise ships consistently make up a very slim minority of the total population onboard far fewer than on land and the majority of those cases are asymptomatic or mild in nature, posing little to no burden on medical resources onboard or onshore, the main trade group for the industry, the Cruise Lines International Association, said in a statement to TPG.
Further Changes Are Possible
The situation worldwide is changing weekly, and cruise lines are working with the relevant authorities for a safe return. Its all very fluid, and the restart dates may change even further. The CDC has been making some adjustments recently with relaxing masks and social distancing rules for vaccinated guests.
Norwegian Cruise Line still plans to restart in August from Florida but parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings recently filed a lawsuit against Florida on the states vaccine passport ban. The result of this could have an impact on any protocols the line implements.
The ongoing saga between the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Florida has still not been resolved. In fact, just recently, the CDC successfully got a hold on Florida being allowed to overrule its Conditional Sailing Order. On July 19, the Florida Governor said it will come out on top and could take its lawsuit against the CDC as far as the supreme court.
Cruise Hive will continue to monitor any new developments, so keep checking this detailed page for when cruises resume, not just this year but in 2022.
Feel free to discuss this topic and all things cruise at our new boards. A place where readers can ask questions, help their fellow cruisers and general cruise discussions on cruise lines and ports.
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Has The Foreign Office Cruise Advice Changed
The UKs Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office hasnt changed its advice on cruising other than to update it, recommending that anybody going on a cruise should be fully vaccinated, including the booster shot. Cruise lines, as well as many countries from which cruises depart, would demand this in any case.
This means youre not banned from cruising anywhere and should still be able to get travel insurance for your holiday at sea.
Moored at sunset off Fira, capital of Santorini
Cruise News: Whats The Latest From The Industry
Tuesday January 18 2022, 12:00pm
As Omicron continues to sweep around the world, cruising is facing uncertain times for the immediate future, at least. Outbreaks of Covid among passengers and crew mean ships are suddenly being turned away from some Caribbean and Mexican ports in what would normally be peak season. There have been cases in Europe, too, of infected passengers being disembarked and transferred to medical facilities ashore to quarantine. Some cruise lines have delayed the great comeback theyd announced for 2022.
Yet is this all gloom and doom? No. Read on to understand more about why were hearing so much about Covid on cruise ships, how it might affect your travel plans and what there is to look forward to later in 2022.
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What Us Cruise Ships Are Sailing Right Now
After a pause of more than 450 days, cruise ships are now sailing. North American cruise operators started service in June 2021. And while all the major cruise lines are now back at sea, the return to cruising has taken a phased approach, with ships returning to service one at a time and some cruise lines keeping vessels idle until well into 2022.
Weve compiled a list of cruise ships currently sailing from North American ports, the date they returned to service, and important things to know if you want to sail on each ship.