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Cruise lines voluntarily suspend all trips out of U.S. ports until Sept. 15, trade group says


A woman wearing a face mask as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, runs with Cruise Ships docked in the background at the port of Long Beach, California on April 11, 2020.

Apu Gomes | AFP | Getty Images

Major cruise lines have agreed to voluntarily extend a suspension of operations out of U.S. ports until Sept. 15, the Cruise Lines International Association announced Friday.

“Due to the ongoing situation within the U.S. related to COVID-19, CLIA member cruise lines have decided to voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations,” CLIA, which represents the largest cruise companies in the world, said in a statement. “…it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States.”

Members of the trade group, which includes cruising giants like Royal Caribbean, Carnival Corp. and Norwegian Cruise Line, had previously announced a pause of operations on March 13. 

On March 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order for cruise ships and extended it on April 9 until July 24. 

The extension order said “that cruise ship travel exacerbates the global spread of Covid-19 and that the scope of this pandemic is inherently and necessarily a problem that is international and interstate in nature and has not been controlled sufficiently by the cruise ship industry or individual State or local health authorities.”

Carnival Cruise Line, which is owned by the largest cruise company in the world Carnival Corp., had previously announced plans to resume U.S. operations on Aug. 1.

“Although we are confident that future cruises will be healthy and safe, and will fully reflect the latest protective measures, we also feel that it is appropriate to err on the side of caution to help ensure the best interests of our passengers and crewmembers,” CLIA said Friday. “The additional time will also allow us to consult with the CDC on measures that will be appropriate for the eventual resumption of cruise operations.”

Shares of Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line fell more than 6% on the news in intraday trading Friday.

The coronavirus pandemic has roiled the travel industry, particularly major cruise lines. Since the outbreak began in China in late December, there have been several major outbreaks, quarantines and deaths aboard cruise ships.

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