Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading voice of the global cruise industry, has announced that its ocean-going cruise line members have agreed to voluntarily suspend U.S. cruise operations until at least 31 October 2020.
Although CLIA found the alignment between its voluntary suspension to 15 September and the CDC’s No Sail Order (NSO) date of 30 September valuable, the association’s Global Board of Directors believes it is prudent to voluntarily extend the suspension of U.S. ocean-going cruise operations to the end of October.
The spike in COVID-19 infections in the U.S. is one of the reasons for this new extension.
In a statement CLIA says: “This is a difficult decision as we recognize 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. “
CLIA will consider a possible further extension on or before 30 September 2020. At the same time, if conditions in the U.S. change and it is possible to consider short, modified sailings, the association says it can also consider an earlier restart.
This voluntary suspension, as before, is applicable to ocean-going vessels covered by the NSO, i.e. ships with capacity to carry 250 or more.
According to CLIA’s most recent Economic Impact Study, cruise activity in the United States supports nearly half a million (421,000) American jobs and generates $53 billion annually in economic activity throughout the country. Each day of the suspension of U.S. cruise operations results in a loss of up to $110 million in economic activity and 800 direct and indirect American jobs. The impact of the suspension is particularly profound in states that depend heavily on cruise tourism, including Florida, Texas, Alaska, Washington, New York and California.