More than 50 cruise shipping companies announced suspending fleet operations to and from US ports for 30 days because of the "unprecedented situation" of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The halt began at midnight, according to a statement from CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) which represents most of the major lines, including CCL-Carnival, DCL-Disney, NCL-Norwegian, Princess and RCI-Royal Caribbean.
This followed earlier announcements but affects all major lines, including Princess and cruise operator Viking. Carnival and Norwegian announced suspensions in operations on Friday, March 13.
Norwegian Cruise Line President & CEO Harry Somer said Norwegian planned to resume sailings beginning April 12.
CLIA's President and CEO Kelly Craighead said that it had been a challenging time, but they hoped that the decision would enable them "to focus on the future and a return to normal as soon as possible". According to CLIA, the cruise ship industry supports over 421,000 jobs in the USA and annually contributes nearly USD 53 billion to the global economy.
President Trump tweeted on Friday that the cruise suspension had come "at my request". In Canada, the government delayed the start of the cruise season in Canada, from April 2 through July 1. The delay applies to cruise vessels capable of carrying over 500 passengers and crew.
For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.