In the new guidance, the CDC said cruise ships that have 98% vaccinated crew members and 95% vaccinated passengers could restart sailings and bypass the required simulated test voyages carrying volunteers and jump to sailings with paying passengers.
It is not clear yet if Royal Caribbean will move in this direction, nor when any restart might commence yet.
Also included in the report are five points of clarification that give cruise lines better insight into the CDC's expectations for a restart.
5 reasons why what happened to cruise ships in 2020 will never happen again
In the early days of the global health crisis, the cruise industry was caught off guard with a new health threat which was unfortunately seen in the public eye in the case of a few high profile ship quarantines.
More than a year later, memories of what happened to those cruise ships in early 2020 still dominate the narrative for many people and the fear of allowing something like this to happen again is enough to compel some to not want cruise ships to sail again.
A lot has been happening over the last few weeks with various statements, injunctions, and legislation aimed at getting cruise ships sailing again. This week, Matt talks about how he sees things moving, and what it all means.
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New RCB Video: My favorite Royal Caribbean cruise hacks
Senators from Florida and Alaska sponsored a new piece of legislation that would allow cruise ships to start sailing without the CDC's interference.
Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan, along with Florida Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, announced a bill that is aimed at overriding the CDC’s current framework for getting cruise lines back to sea. In this new legislation, called the CRUISE Act, or Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements, lawmakers are calling on U.S. health officials to change current guidelines.
The purpose of the bill is to end the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s Framework for Conditional Sail Order (CSO) by July 4, 2021 so that cruise lines can restart sailings from the United States.
Royal Caribbean Group CEO sees signs "We Are Approaching The End" of cruise shutdown
Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain thinks cruise ships being able to sail again may be up next.
In his latest video update, Richard Fain sees a lot of key milestones happening now that point to the fact things are moving in the right direction.
Included in his comments was mention of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recent update to its Framework for Conditional Sail Order (CSO), which Mr. Fain characterized as, "tougher restrictions on cruising out of U.S. ports."
Florida Governor Ron Desantis announced on Thursday the state is filing a lawsuit against the federal government, United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and CDC, demanding cruise ships be reopened immediately.
The CDC has been blocking most cruise vessels from sailing in U.S. waters since the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic in March of 2020, citing COVID-19-related risks.
Instead of beginning cruises from Los Angeles, California in June 2022, Royal Caribbean has moved up the start date to November 2021.
Navigator of the Seas will operate short three- and four-night sailings calling on Ensenada, Mexico, and Catalina Island. There will also be several five-night sailings that will also include a stop in Cabo San Lucas, and select weeklong voyages will include an overnight stay.
The new sailings will vary between 3-, 4- and 5-night itineraries to Catalina Island, California and Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – plus, select winter holiday 7-night sailings will feature overnights in the popular resort city.
Royal Caribbean’s new year-round adventures from LA will open for sale the week of March 29, 2021.
Mr. Bayley said that Royal Caribbean has been in "regular communication" with the CDC and expects to get technical instructions on what each ship needs to do in order to prepare itself for test cruises.
"We're literally expecting the technical specifications any day soon," Mr. Bayley told investors.