Scenic Beauty Of Norways Fjords
Soaring granite cliffs laced with waterfalls and surrounded by rings of snow-topped mountains promise to provide an unforgettably majestic backdrop to this Norwegian fjords sailing with new company Ambassador Cruise Line. Take a train ride to remember from Flam where the scenic railway travels through 20 tunnels as it climbs nearly 900 metres, passing through deep ravines and past thundering rivers. In Bergen, inspect the days catch at the fish market and browse locally-made artisanal goods in the historic Bryggen waterfront where shops now occupy the former Hanseatic merchant homes and warehouses.
Advice If You Decide To Cruise Anyway
While the CDC says to avoid cruise travel, regardless of vaccination status, it advises those who do travel on a cruise ship to make sure they are fully vaccinated and boosted, if eligible. People who go on a cruise should also get tested one to three days before their trip, and three to five days after, regardless of vaccination status.
The unvaccinated should also self-quarantine for a five full days after. People on cruise ships should also wear masks in shared places, CDC says.
Most cruise lines are requiring all or the vast majority of passengers and crew to be vaccinated, in compliance with a CDC Conditional Sailing Order that was implemented to allow cruise operations to resume more than a year after the industry came to a standstill at the start of the pandemic.
Many cruise lines also require pre-departure testing, regardless of vaccination status.
Some lines, including Royal Caribbean, require all passengers 2 and older to be masked in indoor public areas, except while actively eating and drinking.
Before coronavirus variants brought a rise in breakthrough cases among the vaccinated, some lines did not require vaccinated passengers to wear masks in areas reserved for vaccinated guests.
CNNs Jason Hanna contributed to this report.Top image: The Seven Seas Mariner cruise ship passes through the Panama Canal on December 23 after it was barred from docking by local authorities in Cartagena, Colombia.
Diarrhoea And Vomiting Illness
Stomach upsets and travellers diarrhoea are a common complaint on cruise ships because there are lots of people closer together and changes to your diet. Norovirus infection is one of the common causes of outbreaks on ships.
You can reduce your risk of vomiting and diarrhoea illness by:
- following safe food and water precautions, both on the ship and when on land
- maintaining strict hand hygiene and personal hygiene measures
It is essential to report any episodes of diarrhoea or vomiting immediately to the ships’ medical centre to help prevent onward transmission to other passengers and crew.
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Treasures Of The Nile
Egypt is this years hot ticket thanks to the February 11 release of the new Death on the Nile film, the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamuns tomb, and the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum. After a decade-long downturn, Nile cruises promise to be back in vogue this year, so beat the crowds to Luxors Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings, where the mummified body of the boy king remains for now before its transfer to the museum.
Are Vaccinations Required For A Cruise
All major cruise lines require passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated. In fact, several brands including P& O Cruises and Cunard are toughening rules booster shots on select sailings as they ramp up the fight against Covid.
Two already-departed P& O Caribbean cruises required the booster shot to travel while P& O advises boosters wherever you’re sailing, stating: “We strongly recommend all guests to have a booster vaccine, should it be available to them, in order to comply with increasingly stringent vaccine policies from the countries we visit.”
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Take The Muster Drill Seriously
The muster drill where the crew demonstrates safety procedures, talks about what happens in case of an emergency at sea, and outlines protocols takes place at the beginning of every cruise.
No matter how many times youve been on a cruise youre going to have to participate in a muster drill, McDaniel says. Veteran cruisers especially say, Ugh! Ive been through this tons of times!, but take it seriously. Pay attention. Know what your emergency escape routes are.
As McDaniel points out, you need to know whats expected of passengers in case of an emergency, because you want to have that information at your fingertips in case something does happen.
The Cruise Lines That Are Rated
As of the latest update , ships operated by the following cruise lines are included in the table: American Queen Steamboat Company, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Company, Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc., Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, and Silversea Cruises LTD.
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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
How Cruise Lines Are Thinking About The Future
Despite the uncertainty over when their ships will set sail again, and just what that will look like, cruise lines are continuing to make innovations like these in preparation. Some lines have even created and instilled their own health protocols to guide their return: Virgin Voyages released a Voyage Well plan created with expert advisors from AtmosAir Solutions, EcoLab, Dr. Heymann with Vikand, Global Public Health Services, in close collaboration with the CDC. Their new ship, Scarlet Lady, will launch with an HVAC system that uses ionization tech to kill viruses. Created by AtmosAir, the air purification system has been shown to kill 99.9% of viruses, including coronavirus, Virgin Voyages said in a statement.
Royal Caribbean and Norwegian formed a joint panel of health officials who are advising them on how to safely return to the seas. That panel includes Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the FDA Dr. Helen Gayle, CEO of the Chicago Community Trust Dr. Michael Osterholm, of the nation’s leading experts in public health and infectious disease and Dr. Stephen Ostroff, formerly of both the FDA and CDC. While the cruise industry has always had rigorous health standards, the unique challenges posed by COVID-19 provide an opportunity to raise the bar even higher, said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
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Vaccination And Testing Help With Safety
The CDC states that all people, regardless of vaccination status, should avoid cruise travel at this time, especially those with higher chances of developing severe illness from COVID-19.
This could include people on cancer chemotherapy and also people on various immunosuppressive medications for other reasons. Also, if you have serious medical conditions, particularly cardiac or pulmonary disease, there might be safer vacation alternatives for you, said Fierstein.
Additionally, the CDC recommends that anyone who goes on a cruise gets tested 1 to 3 days before their trip and 3 to 5 days after their trip, regardless of vaccination status.
This is because on a cruise, typically everyone is vaccinated including crew members, except for some children. In most cases, everyone is tested within 1 to 3 days of embarkation, Fierstein said.
A CDC report examined actual risk on cruises in more depth between June 26, 2021 and October 21, 2021. They found that during this period there were more than 1,359 COVID-19 cases, 49 hospitalizations, 38 medical evacuations, and 1 death.
Since virtually all of these cases were breakthrough cases, very few actually resulted in serious illness, said Fierstein, which highlights how effective the vaccines were at reducing the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 at that time.
Nevertheless, the rise of the Omicron variant has increased the risk for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
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
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All Your Covid Cruise Questions Answered From Positive Tests To Mask Rules
What life is really like on board a cruise ship now restrictions are being rolled back plus the 10 best ‘back to normal’ sailings
After being rocked by waves of coronavirus over the last two years, it finally appears that smoother waters are beckoning for the cruise industry. Cruise Lines International Association , which represents the industrys major players, has branded 2022 a pivotal year, bullishly forecasting that all 289 ships of its member lines will be sailing by August. Pent-up demand, bolstered by the gradual rolling back of restrictions, is fuelling bookings, and though cruise operators are braced for more omicron-style bumps in the road, there is rising optimism that the worst is over. But that doesnt mean things have returned to normal quite yet. So what can you expect? Read our answers to the most common cruise questions here…
Fact Check: Are Cruise Ships Safe
Ask an experienced cruiser if ships are safe, and youre likely to get an eye roll, a heavy sigh, and maybe info on how many times theyve sailed without once having encountered an accident, illness, or even a skipped port.
Carnival Sunshine leaving Port Canaveral.
However, its understandable why first-time cruise passengers would sincerely pose the question given how often reports of incidents on the high seas are reported by the mainstream media.
The problem is that while those outlets are the first to report on the downside, theyre not as quick to tell the other side of the story.
As it turns out, theres a lot of stories to tell. Thanks to the crisis which shut the entire cruise industry down, its not surprising that people have questions.
While some of those will have to remain unanswered until newly-introduced protocols are thoroughly tested, there are plenty of areas we can explore regarding the questions of safety aboard cruise ships.
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Changes Brought About By Covid
As cruise ships resume sailing from U.S. ports, the CDC has laid out a stepped, color-coded approach for ships and lines to institute COVID-mitigation procedures and get approved to sail.
The color-coding system comes into play once a ship has established a complete and accurate COVID-19 response plan prior to sailing to provide adequate health and safety protections for crew members.
Ships have to complete daily reports on crew and passenger health. At that point, theyre assigned a color code based on confirmed COVID cases or exposures, and whether quarantine rules were followed.
Information on a ships status is updated daily and is available on the CDC site.
However, the CDC recommends that people with an increased risk of severe illness .
People looking to take a cruise should also be aware that if a certain threshold level of COVID-19 is detected onboard the ship during your voyage, the voyage will end immediately, the ship will return to the port of embarkation, and your subsequent travel, including your return home, may be restricted or delayed.
What About Social Distancing
Ships are still sailing below capacity to make this easier, though guests are expected to stay at least two metres from other guests. Some ships have additional signage and one-way systems to aid social distancing and are blocking off seating areas in restaurants and theatres to ensure passengers are adequately spaced apart. At the moment, masks are required in the ships public areas, apart from drinking and dining. Masks do not generally need to be worn outside on deck or when exercising. However, some lines are starting to relax rules governing this.
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Hawaii Updates Safe Travels Program For Cruise Passengers
Hawaiian officials announced the states Safe Travels requirements would remain in place and cruise ship passengers would be added to the travelers covered by the COVID-19 emergency proclamation.
According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Hawaiian Governor David Ige revealed cruise ships serving the state have been following the Safe Travels program requirements through partnerships with port authorities, but the latest proclamation makes the agreements official.
All cruise passengers are required to show a negative coronavirus test or proof of vaccination before leaving the ships. Governor Ige said the emergency proclamation will remain in effect through March 25 unless terminated or superseded by a separate proclamation.
Just a few weeks ago, Hawaii saw record high COVID-19 cases in our communities, Governor Ige said at a press conference. While we believe we may have hit the peak, we must continue to remain vigilant.
Mask wearing and asking travelers to get vaccinated or tested before they fly to Hawaii are among some of the measures that have helped keep COVID-19 case numbers manageable for our limited resources here, Ige continued. I thank everyone for their diligence and patience.
Balancing Act For First Nation Communities
Dawn Madahbee Leach understands the need to balance out concerns with health and safety with stimulating the local economy.
She is the general manager at Waubetek, an economic development agency on Birch Island, which helps Indigenous entrepreneurs access funding, and also delivers support to First Nations businesses.
That agency played a big role in connecting First Nation communities around Manitoulin Island with the cruise ship industry when it first started traveling through the Great Lakes region. Businesses at various port communities offered shore visits for cultural attractions.
“The tourism industry is one of the largest industries in the region,” Madahbee Leach said.
Initially, a circle of elders developed cultural integrity guidelines to ensure that Indigenous people weren’t exploited and that sacred Indigenous cultural practices, like ceremonies, weren’t sold to visitors.
When the pandemic hit the tourism sector, it took a big hit. People were discouraged from traveling, and many First Nation communities discouraged visitors during that time to help protect vulnerable elders in their respective communities.
But now tourism operators and connecting businesses are preparing for the 2022 season, and are especially looking forward to the economic dollars visitors will bring to their communities
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Will It Be Safe To Cruise Again Soon
While the Omicron variant spreads rapidly around the world, it has not dampened the excitement and planning for the mighty return of cruising. The cruise industrys outlook and safety measures will continue to evolve in 2022 and beyond. As vaccination rates continue to rise, Australia lifts its travel restrictions, and new technologies and scrupulous safety procedures are implemented, the upcoming cruise seasons look set to be sensational.
Take Oceania’s world cruise for 2023 as an example of things to come. It sold out in less than 24 hours. Cruisers who have had their trips cancelled or delayed because of the pandemic are driving this resurgence, alongside new bookings from travellers keen to take a bucket list trip after such a long period of border restrictions.
As cruise lines prepare for a careful return to sea, detailed health protocols have been outlined by the industrys governing body Cruise Lines International Association and by the cruise lines themselves.
The cruise industrys new health measures go beyond those of any other area of tourism and include vaccination and testing requirements for passengers and crew before boarding, as well as extensive protocols covering crew quarantine, distancing, sanitation, ventilation, health monitoring and response procedures.
Getting Seasick On A Cruise
For many people, theres only one way to find out how vulnerable theyll be to the inevitable movement of a cruise ship at sea, and thats by spending time onboard.
Unfortunately, for some people, this means spending a day or two green around the gills until they find a solution that works for them. There are, of course, all kinds of seasickness remedies available. Mention that youre feeling ill, and experienced cruisers will whip open their purse or backpack and offer you everything from wrist bands to ginger candies.
One way to find out just how vulnerable you might be is to find another way to spend time on the water.
For example, if you happen to live near a port city where there are tour boats, consider going out on one for a few hours.
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Cdc Designates Cruise Traveling As Level 4 Health Alert
FOX Business’ Ashley Webster speaks with Canaveral Port Authority CEO Captain John Murray regarding the CDC’s warning to Americans looking to travel via cruise ship.
“The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters on board ships, and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose,” the CDC wrote in an advisory.
Last week, the CDC released new guidance for cruise travel and said that cruise ships operating in U.S. waters either choose to participate in the CDC’s COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships which requires participating cruise lines to report the vaccination status classification for each ship or be designated as “Gray” on the agency’s Cruise Ship Color Status webpage.
“Gray” means that the CDC has neither reviewed nor confirmed the cruise ship operators COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Cruise lines that plan to join the program have until Feb. 18 to notify the Maritime Unit regarding their decision.
FOX Business’ Paul Best contributed to this report.