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Ocean cruise lines suspend cruising until November

Ocean-going cruise lines have agreed to voluntarily suspend U.S. cruise operations until at least 31 October, Cruise Lines International Association has announced.

The move will mean similar dates across the globe, as CLIA is the leading owners group.

Said a statement issued in Washington: “We believe it is prudent at this time to voluntarily extend the suspension of U.S. ocean-going cruise operations to 31 October. This is a difficult decision as we recognise the crushing impact that this pandemic has had on our community and every other industry.

“However, we believe this proactive action further demonstrates the cruise industry’s commitment to public health and willingness to voluntarily suspend operations in the interest of public health and safety, as has occurred twice prior.

“CLIA cruise line members will continue to monitor the situation with the understanding that we will revisit a possible further extension on or before 30 September 2020. At the same time, should conditions in the U.S. change and it becomes possible to consider short, modified sailings, we would consider an earlier restart.”

The move, which is no surprise given health protocols and talks with the powerful Centre for Disease Control and Prevention haven’t really started in earnest, will impact tens of thousands of jobs in tourism, both on board the ships and on shore.

It follows news this week that Hurtigruten, the adventure line sailing in Northern Europe in July, has found COVID-19 cases among its crew.  Just this week, another adventure line, Uncruise, was forced to cancel its Alaska season for 2020 after one case was found.