After two years, the CDC has finally removed its cruise travel health notice. What are the consequences for the cruise lines?
Put into place more than two years ago, the CDC’s cruise travel health notice served as a platform that provided guidance to consumers on restrictions in cruise travel, grading systems and collaborative protocols for sailing safety.
In collaboration with the CDC, the cruise industry has taken tremendous strides in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cruise industry leaders assembled quickly to develop leading protocols and actions to mitigate risk and successfully get back into the water with eager cruisers across the globe.
The removal of the health notice demonstrates the transition back into pre-pandemic operations for the cruise industry. It is also an important step forward in recognizing the work cruise lines have done to protect travelers.
While the travel health notice is removed most cruise lines will nevertheless continue to operate vaccinated cruises in a safe and healthy environment, to ensure cruising is among the safest forms of socializing and travel.
Cruise industry leaders like Virgin Voyages’ Tom McAlpin react saying they are “absolutely thrilled to see that the CDC recognizes that it’s time to remove the travel health notice website. While we feel this was a long time coming, we recognize this move as a demonstration of all of the hard work this industry has done to ensure that we’re offering the safest way to travel. It’s refreshing to see them meet us where we’re at, and clearly where our consumers are at considering the major uptick in demand we’ve seen.”
Virgin Voyages remains committed to its elevated health and safety protocols and continues to put the wellbeing of its Sailors and crew first. The brand recognizes what is working and looks forward to continuing to make strides that contribute to the complete comeback of cruising.
With inaugural sailings debuting in 2021, Virgin Voyages now has two ships: Scarlet Lady with sailings in the Caribbean and Valiant Lady with sailings in the UK and launching from Barcelona this May. Virgin Voyages’ third ship, Resilient Lady, will make her debut in Athens this summer. The brand’s fourth ship will debut in 2023.
Gus Antorcha, president, Holland America Line, responded saying: “The removal is an important step forward in recognizing the work we have done to protect our guests. At Holland America Line, we continue to operate vaccinated cruises and have created a safe and healthy environment for our guests, our teams, and the communities we serve, helping to ensure cruising is among the safest forms of socializing and travel.”