Royal Caribbean has followed other major cruise lines by extending its hold on operations out of the United States. It does now mean that cruises won’t start to resume until July 2021 at the very earliest.
It comes as pressure mounts on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to lift its “unworkable” framework on the Conditional Sailing Order. An order which is blocking cruise lines to resume sailings safely.
Royal Caribbean Cancels U.S. Cruises
Royal Caribbean has extended its suspension out of U.S. ports through June 30, 2021, and this does now mean cruises won’t restart until July. This does impact all cruise brands owned by Royal Caribbean group including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises.
Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO, said:
“Safety is the first priority, and we know that cruising can be safe, as we have seen in Europe and Asia.”
“The rising number of Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, layered on top of the rigorous health and safety measures we are implementing under the Healthy Sail Panel’s guidance, enables us to create a safe environment to take a cruise. We strongly believe that President Biden’s stated goal for society to reopen in time for Independence Day is a realistic goal.”
Royal Caribbean’s previous extension was announced on March 9 with cruises canceled in the U.S. through May 31, 2021. With the CDC not budging on its Conditional Sailing Order, cruise lines are being forced to make further cancellations. In fact, Royal Caribbean has even started shifting vessels to alternative homeports outside the United States.
Not All is Lost
Royal Caribbean is leading the way with alternative cruises outside the U.S. so not all is lost. The company has no choice with the CDC still not allowing operations to resume from U.S. ports. The latest technical instructions released on April 2, make it even more complicated for a return to service in the country.