When Will Cruises Resume In 2021
When will cruises resume operations around the world in 2021? Find out return dates for each cruise line and the current situation.
The cruise industry is well and truly in comeback mode! Well take a look at when cruises will resume worldwide along with the situation in major cruise markets including the UK, US, Canada, and Australia.
Carnival Finally Returns To Grand Turk
Although the islands officials seemed all set for Carnivals ships to return to Grand Turk, the preparations took longer than expected to welcome thousands of cruise ship visitors.
As Cruise Hive reported only a few weeks ago, Grand Turk & Caicos officials announced that would visit on December 7, 2021. However, that call was removed from itineraries, as were calls for other Carnival Corporation cruise ships.
The reason? According to the brand ambassador, John Heald, the island still needed further work before it saw fit to send its ships here again:
The port has been closed for two years. There are many checks that need to be done including dredging, making sure that the infrastructure is as you would expect and that the beaches etc are ready for thousands of people to have fun. And we also have to listen and adhere to the Covid policies of all the places we sail to and that in itself is an important undertaking.
The good news is that the first Carnival cruise ship returned to the island on December 15. Carnival Freedom made her visit to the delight of cruiser guests.
In fact, the company recently pledged a massive $73 million investment for the island group, which includes $25 million in upgrades to the current cruise center.
Dr Lucille Oneal Christens Carnival Radiance
This week featured the second christening of a cruise ship for Carnival in just a few weeks. After in Cape Canaveral, it was the turn for Carnival Radiance. The vessel received a $200 million make-over, transforming the ship from Carnival Victory to Carnival Radiance.
Dr. Lucille ONeal, the mother of Carnivals Chief Fun Officer Shaquille ONeal, had the honor of acting as godmother to the new vessel. During a fun-filled ceremony attended by Carnival President Christine Duffy, Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald, and Shaquille ONeal Dr. Lucille ONeal poured champagne over the ships bell, officially naming the ship.
What a special evening it was to celebrate the debut of Carnival Radiance with my son by my side in what truly felt like a We Are Family event, said Lucille. It has been such a pleasure to be included in these exciting festivities, so I can only imagine how incredible it will be for guests to sail aboard this spectacular ship theyre going to love it.
Don’t Miss: What Cruise Ships Sail Out Of Mobile Alabama
How Safe Is It
Despite all these precautions, the return to cruising hasnt all been smooth sailing. Small outbreaks have been reported, including 41 crew members and 21 guests who tested positive on Norwegian cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen on July 31 and seven passengers who tested positive on Costa Cruises Costa Diadema on October 10. The Quantum of the Seas briefly confined 1,700 passengers to their cabins when a single case was detected onboard December 8 in the end, the ship returned to port early. River cruisers have also been exposed to the coronavirus.
These cases have stirred up memories of the nightmare scenario that plagued the Diamond Princess earlier in the year. The site of the largest COVID-19 cluster outside of Wuhan, China, the luxury cruise ship had all the trappings of a 70s disaster flick. Passengers quarantined aboard for almost four weeks before they were allowed off. By then, the number of passengers and crew who tested positive for a new, potentially deadly coronavirus had jumped from 10 to more than 700 more than a dozen of those who caught the coronavirus died.
Even with the reported outbreaks, Chiron feels confident. If I had the chance, I would have gone on a cruise months ago, he said. Its a completely erroneous statement to compare ships to a petri dish.
Hes not alone. When Royal Caribbean put out a call in November for volunteer passengers for a simulated voyage to test out safety protocols set forth by the CDC, more than 100,000 people signed up.
Are They Requiring Vaccinations
Most lines say they’ll require vaccinations of passengers and crew, generally for guests 16 and older. Younger passengers who don’t have the jab may be subject to restrictions — check before you book. Even with a vaccination, you’ll likely have to show a negative COVID-19 test before boarding. Sailings from Florida are a different story, though. Vaccination requirements are running afoul of a new law there banning such mandates, and cruise lines are reacting in different ways .
Bans or not, it makes perfect sense that cruise lines are requiring inoculations. Ships like the Diamond Princess and the Grand Princess were major coronavirus hotspots early in the pandemic, with passengers being locked in their staterooms as the disease spread quickly. Even before the pandemic, cruise ships had outbreaks of norovirus. Passengers aren’t the only people onboard a cruise, either. Remember that crew members live in cramped quarters and interact with hundreds of passengers daily.
Miami is the largest cruise port in the world, but Florida has banned vaccine mandates.
You May Like: Italian River Cruise
Update On Carnival Cruise Line Ships And Latest Developments
Carnival Cruise Line update on ships restarting operations, delays at Grand Turk and Carnival Horizon on her way to dry dock.
Coming towards the busiest time of the year for cruise lines worldwide, there is undoubtedly enough happening these days at Carnival Cruise Line. The cruise line had to pull Carnival Horizon from service, one vessel made her service return, and one sailed on her maiden voyage kids are allowed back into Camp Ocean, and it took a little longer before Grand Turk welcomed back the first Carnival cruise ship.
We look at whats been happening in the past weeks and provide you with all the news you need to know about Carnival Cruise Line.
Holland America: Resume Sailing July 24
Holland America suspended departures around the world through July 2021, after pausing back in March 2020. But at the end of July the cruise line will make its return, with a cruise sailing from Seattle.
The cruise line will start sailing to Alaska from Seattle, beginning on July 24 aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam. From there the line will return to sailing around the world, including Greece, Italy, Spain, and more U.S. departures later in the year.
Also Check: Is Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Legit
When Will Cruises Sail Again From Us Ports
Before the pandemic, nearly half of the worlds cruises departed from U.S. ports, according to a 2019 report from Cruise Lines International Association. After a year of not being able to sail in U.S. waters under the No Sail Order, many major cruise lines chose to jump ship and relocate their operations to other destinations around the world in the meantime. Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Virgin Voyages, which usually depart from Florida, have all moved forward with announcing sailings from other parts of the world, including Greece, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic, and the U.K.
Conversely, several cruise lines do have plans to launch restricted passenger voyages this summer from U.S. ports like Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida Galveston, Texas Seattle New York and Los Angeles pending CDC approval. Travel Weekly maintains a regularly updated list of lines and ships that have or are currently scheduled to launch, as well as those who have had to continue to postpone.
Cruises Cancelled In March When Do They Resume
The cruise industry made a historic move in mid-March. The industry including all the big names like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian suspended new sailings. Never before had such an action been undertaken.
Originally, the pause was slated for roughly 30 days, with ships returning to service in mid-April.
This was a good idea. With cruise ships and coronavirus already in the headlines, more ships with outbreaks was bad news that cruise lines didnt need.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, the suspension applied to new sailings. Cruises that were already ongoing including some lengthy trips of several weeks kept sailing. Thats why weve continued to see ships hit with illness, even after the suspension.
That has meant more negative headlines for cruising.
Meanwhile, the original dates set by cruise lines to return in mid-April have also been extended. Each cruise line is different, but as of now, most have return-to-sailing dates set for mid-May.
But is that realistic? Given what weve seen, it doesnt seem so.
In fact, we think it will be August or later before ships resume sailing, even in a limited capacity.
Also Check: Cruises That Leave From Norfolk
Biden Was In Close Contact With A White House Official Who Later Tested Positive
President Biden was in close contact with a White House official who later tested positive for the coronavirus, the administration said on Monday.
The president came into contact with the official aboard Air Force One on Friday, spending about 30 minutes near that person during a trip from South Carolina to Pennsylvania, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said in a statement. The official, who was vaccinated and had received a booster shot, began experiencing symptoms two days later and tested positive on Monday morning.
The president is tested on a regular basis. As part of that regular testing, the president received an antigen test Sunday and tested negative, Ms. Psaki said. This morning, after being notified of the staffers positive test, the president received a P.C.R. test and tested negative.
She added that Mr. Biden would be tested again on Wednesday, and that as a fully vaccinated person, he was not required to quarantine after exposure.
Administration officials acknowledge that as the highly contagious Omicron variant has surged, there have been cases in and around the White House, including the National Security Council, State Department and other agencies. At least one person who traveled with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on a trip abroad last week tested positive, causing Mr. Blinken to cut his trip short.
SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment.
Are Ships At Full Capacity Again
No, but many are working up to it. Most operators started with significantly reduced capacity to give passengers more space. Now, the amount of crowding depends on the line though not all companies are providing specific information about their passenger limits.
Carnival spokesman Chris Chiames said in an email that the line is still at a somewhat limited capacity but that will expand in the coming months. Norwegian Cruise Lines ships are sailing at 50 to 60 percent capacity. Newcomer Virgin Voyages has its Miami-based ship capped at 50 percent. And Princess Cruises is operating between 60 and 75 percent full, with plans to increase that every voyage.
Also Check: Is Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Legit
No Us Bailout For The Cruise Companies
While they employ many Americans, the major cruise companies are all incorporated abroad and were ultimately left out of the $2 trillion federal stimulus known as the CARES Act, with lawmakers chafing at the prospect of bailing out foreign corporations largely exempt from income taxes. Environmentalists lobbied against the aid, citing the industrys poor track record on climate issues. And criticism over how the companies handled early virus outbreaks on board ships sapped any remaining political will to help. Huge losses mounted as questions swirled about whether cruise lines could avoid bankruptcy.
All our conversations here were, At this cash burn rate for each of these companies, how long can they survive? said Pete Trombetta, an analyst focused on lodging and cruises at Moodys.
Cruise lines were forced to send most cruise workers home, keeping small skeleton crews on board to maintain their ships. After months without work or an income, many of the workers, who are frequently drawn from countries like the Philippines, Bangladesh and India, fell into debt and struggled to provide for their families.
Its been a very difficult 15 months and we had to make some very tough cuts along the way like the rest of the industry, said Tom McAlpin, president and chief officer of Virgin Voyages.
The Ships Slowly Come Back
In late 2020, cruise ships still arent docking or taking off from United States ports. On November 22, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that all people avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide, because the risk of COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high.
But in Europe and Asia, a few cruise lines resumed operations this summer. German-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises was one of the first, sailing out of Hamburg starting in July. New safety precautions onboard included a mandatory health questionnaire, staggered boarding, daily temperature checks, and reducing its passenger load by 60 percent.
Before boarding, each guestlimited to residents of Germany, Austria, and Switzerlandhad to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. The company also installed an onboard testing lab and hired doctors and nurses to travel with the ship. Cold fog machines that spew antiviral disinfectant were used to clean cabins and public areas. So far, after 30 completed trips carrying more than 4,000 guests, no COVID cases have been reported.
Other lines, including Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, and Dream Cruises, require temperature checks, a slate of COVID tests onboard, and timed reservations for pool and gym access. Buffet stations are no longer self-serve, and safety muster drills are streamed on stateroom TVs instead of happening in person. Crew members are usually tested and quarantined prior to boarding the ship.
When Are Cruise Ships Sailing Again
Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Edge recently dropped its lines and headed out into the open ocean from Fort Lauderdales Port Everglades. A year and a half ago, no one would have ever batted an eye at the idea of a 130,000-gross ton U.S. cruise ship setting sail. But, on that day, 15 months after the Center for Disease Control first issued the No Sail Order, the event made waves as the first commercial cruise liner to leave a U.S. port with paying passengers aboard since the COVID-19 pandemic began…and the CDC rescinded its order.
Celebrity is just the first of several lines that plan to restart cruises out of Florida and other U.S. ports over the coming weeks as big-ship cruising finally resumes in U.S. waters, reported Gene Sloan, one of the nations best-known cruise experts, who was actually aboard Celebrity Edges maiden voyage and documented the whole experience for fellow cruising fans.
Fox Tightens Its Vaccine Rule Removing A Test
Fox Corporation, the owner of Fox News, told employees on Friday that those working in New York City would have to show proof theyd had at least one dose of the Covid vaccine by Dec. 27, removing the option to get tested weekly instead.
The new policy was in keeping with New York Citys vaccine rule, which Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in early December and which is more stringent than a contested Biden administration rule requiring vaccine mandates or weekly testing at larger employers.
The New York City mandate, which requires on-site workers at all businesses to be vaccinated, is the countrys most sweeping local vaccine mandate and affects some 184,000 businesses.
Our policy reflects the guidelines of the mandate, a spokesman for Fox Corporation said in an email on Monday. More than 90 percent of Foxs employees are vaccinated, the company said.
New York is facing a surge of coronavirus cases. On Friday, the state reported 21,027 new coronavirus cases, the highest single-day total since early in the pandemic, when testing was not as widely available.
New Yorks mandate for workplaces requires that recipients of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines receive a second dose, but the policy does not currently require booster shots.
Recommended Reading: Hawaiian Cruise From California
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:
Norwegian Cruise Line: Resume Sailing August 7
As of March 2020, Norwegian made the call to suspend voyages across their fleet worldwide. The plan was for the ships to resume sailing in April 2020, but the suspension was lengthened multiple times. It’s now been extended through July 2021 for the U.S., with cruises returning in August.
According to the NCL, the first cruise scheduled from the United States is a trip from Seattle to Alaska on August 7.
Notably, there is some question if that cruise will sail from Florida, where trips are scheduled starting August 15. Norwegian has been firm that it wants to sail with 100% of passengers vaccinated. However, Florida law says businesses can’t require proof of vaccination from customers.
This has led to tension between the state and the cruise line. Recently, the cruise line’s parent company filed suit to be able to sail fully vaccinated from the state. It’s not clear what will come of the suit or NCL’s restart plans given the desire to sail fully vaccinated from Florida.
Recommended Reading: Which Cruise Ships Sail Out Of Galveston