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CLIA "Very Hopeful" U.S. Cruising Will Resume This Summer, Despite CDC Silence

Ruby Princess
Ruby Princess

March 25, 2021

Adam Coulter
U.K. Executive Editor

(1:55 p.m. EST) -- The Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) is confident that cruising will resume from the US in a phased way as soon as this summer.

Brian Salerno, CLIA's Senior vice-president, Maritime Policy, said he was "very hopeful" the U.S. would see a resumption of cruising over the summer months.

His words come just a day after CLIA called on the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to revise its Conditional Sail Order.

The government agency responded by reiterating the terms of the sailing order, which calls for a lengthy phased process back into service. The order is valid through October 31, 2021, although the agency can drop it at any time.

Still, Salerno sounded bullish at a TTG-organized seminar in the U.K,

"We are very, very enthusiastic about President's Biden's announcements about the vaccination rollout and we see that as a strong signal that things will change this summer.

Exterior shot of a cruise ship docked in a Caribbean port, as seen through the trees on a sunny day
Cruise ship in the Caribbean (Photo: Costin Constantinescu/Shutterstock.com)

"So we're very hopeful that as we get into the warmer months cruising can resume in a phased way.

"A few of our member lines have signalled their intention to require vaccines either for passengers or for crew or for both.

"It's best seen as an additional signal that the industry is willing to put things in place to protect passengers, crew and destinations."

"We're hopeful that all of this together will lead to a resumption of cruising from the US in the summer," he said.

The words are very optimistic, considering that the CDC has not revised its Conditional Sail Order nor provided any guidance thus far for a resumption of cruising from the U.S. Even more worrying: At a Senate hearing last week, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky seemed unaware that her agency was the main party holding things back.,

Salerno noted the lack of communication, and said that CLIA has "started a new push to break that logjam."

"It's been a long time since we've received advise from CDC on next steps, it's been so long, several months that the CSO is like a No-Sail Order," Salerno said.

Cruise ships in the Caribbean from Grand Cayman Port
Cruise ships in the Caribbean (Photo: Cruise Critic)

"We haven't received any signals. We're really kind of stuck. We're hoping the new administration will give us a pathway to resumption.

"We do have a lot of engagement with the government and the new administration, but CDC is the decider on this but we're still waiting for that breakthrough," Salerno said.

Salerno also said that cruise lines were getting increasingly frustrated by the silence:

"We are very frustrated. We have not given up on gaining guidance from the CDC and we cannot afford to give up.

"That said, we've very delighted we can initiate cruising from the Bahamas, at least we have that capability."

Last week, the Royal Caribbean Group announced restarts in the Caribbean and Bermuda for Celebrity and Royal Caribbean International; followed by restarts in Europe for both brands this summer.

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