The powerful US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday issued its strictest warning yet about cruising, thanks to the soaring number of cases across the nation,

The move comes just a few weeks after the CDC issued a report explaining how cruise lines could safely restart, and a bookings boom which followed positive results from vaccine trials.

The current warning has been raised from a level three to a level four – the highest there is. Level four indicates 100 of every 100,000 people are currently falling ill.

The updated statement on the federal agency’s website says: “CDC recommends that all people avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide, because the risk of COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high. It is especially important that people with an increased risk of severe illness avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises.”

For those who decide to cruise, extra precautions including COVID testing at least five days before sailing and self-isolating at home for at least seven days after travelling, even following a negative COVID test result is recommended.

For passengers who don’t get tested, the CDC has recommended staying home for 14 days.

The CDC added that for passengers who may be considered at increased risk due to medical conditions, age, disability and more, the warning is “especially” applicable.

Holland America Line yesterday joined other Carnival lines in extending its cancellations through to March 31, 2021.

Cruises of eight-days or more have also been cancelled  with the line until at least November 1, 2021.

Select Holland America Line longer voyages in Asia, Australia/New Zealand and South America have also been cancelled through mid-April 2021. Some departures will be rescheduled to comparable dates in 2022.