Coronavirus: All Clia cruise lines suspend US operations for 30 days

All cruises operated from US ports by Clia cruise lines have been suspended for 30 days.

A statement from the association confirmed the move and followed individual statements from a range of lines on Friday evening. Most announced a 30-day pause, though MSC Cruises has suspended US-based operations until the end of April.

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Kelly Craighead, president and chief executive of Clia, said: “This is an unprecedented situation. Our industry has taken responsibility for protecting public health for more than 50 years, working under the guidance of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and prides itself on its ability to deliver exceptional vacation experiences for guests, as well as meaningful employment opportunities for crew.

“This has been a challenging time, but we hope that this decision will enable us to focus on the future and a return to normal as soon as possible.”

A statement issued on March 13 said the temporary suspension would take effect at midnight, with lines focusing on “the safe and smooth return of those currently at sea onboard ships that will be affected by this decision”.

Adam Goldstein, Clia global chairman, added: “During this time, we will continue to work with the CDC and others to prepare for resumption of sailings when it is appropriate. We know the travel industry is a huge economic engine for the United States and when our ships once again sail, our industry will be a significant contributor to fuelling the economic recovery.”

Trump recognises importance of cruise

US president Donald Trump posted on Twitter that he had requested the suspension, but also recognised the importance of the cruise industry.

He said: “At my request, effective midnight tonight, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC have all agreed to suspend outbound cruises for thirty days. It is a great and important industry – it will be kept that way!”

The suspension applies to four Carnival Corporation brands with US sailings: Carnival, Cunard North America, Holland America Line and Seabourn. Princess Cruises had already announced a 60-day suspension.

Carnival response

Arnold Donald, chief executive of Carnival Corporation, said: “Through serving our many guests who still wanted to travel, we’ve stood with all the people in the port communities here in the US, and in the other places we sail, who are dependent on us for their livelihood.

“Today we stand with the nation as we together seek to mitigate the spread.”

Princess Cruises also issued a statement on Friday in relation to Grand Princess, confirming that all bar 14 international guests had now disembarked the ship.

The statement said: “As of 7am today, Princess Cruises can confirm that a total of approximately 2,450 people disembarked Grand Princess. There are 14 international guests remaining on the ship who are awaiting transportation to their home countries. Once those guests disembark, the guest disembarkation process for the Grand Princess will be complete.

“Plans for a crew quarantine are still being finalised.”

The statement added: “As noted in earlier communications, disembarkation was defined, directed and managed by both federal and state authorities, and Princess Cruises worked closely with federal, state and local authorities to ensure all guests departed the ship safely. We would like to thank all agencies for their collaboration throughout the disembarkation process.”

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