As the cruise industry passes one year without cruises from the U.S., a number of cruise lines have announced plans to homeport cruise ships in the Bahamas and Caribbean so cruises can resume.
The CDC has not allowed cruise ships over 250 passengers to visit US ports since last March even though several cruise lines have successfully and safely restarted cruises in Asia and in Europe.
MSC Cruises has safely provided cruises for 40,000 passengers since last August in Italy. In Singapore, Royal Caribbean and Genting Cruise Lines have had over 100,000 passengers cruise on their ships since they restarted late last year. These cruise lines have proved that cruises can safely return with the right protocols.
As the CDC continues to not allow cruise ships to sail from the U.S., several cruise lines are moving ships away from U.S. ports to the Bahamas and Caribbean so they can finally restart.
Royal Caribbean and Crystal Cruises will each homeport a ship in Nassau, Bahamas. Royal Caribbean will sail seven night cruises from Nassau on Adventure of the Seas and visit Cozumel and ports in the Bahamas. Royal Caribbean’s cruises out of Nassau will begin on June 12.
A highlight of the cruises on Adventure of the Seas is that the ship will spend two consecutive days at the cruise line’s private island, CocoCay. The cruises open for bookings on March 24.
Crystal Cruises will restart service this July 2 when Crystal Serenity sails from Nassau. The cruise ship will sail 16 seven night sailings from Nassau and 16 sailings from Bimini.
Celebrity Cruises will be the first cruise line to restart Caribbean cruises when Celebrity Millennium begins sailing from St. Maarten on June 5. The ship will sail two different itineraries to the Southern Caribbean.
One itinerary will visit Aruba, Curacao, and Barbados while the second will stop in Tortola, St. Lucia, and Barbados. The cruises open for bookings on March 25.
All three cruise lines will require adults to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Each line is also implementing new health protocols and cruise ships will sail at reduced capacity. Full details of these new health protocols will be released in the near future.
The cruise lines are working with the local governments that they will be visiting to provide a safe experience for all guests, crew, and those who live on the islands. Safety will be the #1 priority for all three lines.
A number of cruise lines including Princess Cruises, Viking, and P&O Cruises have announced sailings around the UK this summer.
There is still no timetable when cruises from U.S. ports will be able resume. Cruise lines currently have all cruises from the U.S. canceled through the end of May or June, depending on the line.
Last October, the CDC issued a Conditional Sail Order that would allow for cruises to resume once they approved of new health protocols from cruise lines. Five months later, cruise lines are still waiting for approval even though airplanes can fly at 100% capacity, you can visit theme parks, and hotels are wide open.