Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), representing 95% of global ocean-going cruise capacity, announced the adoption of mandatory core elements of a set of health protocols to be implemented as part of a highly controlled, phased-in resumption of passenger shipping operations.
A next step, now that initial sailings have begun effectively in Europe, with strict protocols, is the resumption of cruises in the Caribbean, Mexico, and the Americas (Central America), which encompass the world's largest cruise market.
Informed by leading medical experts, scientists, and health authorities, these core elements are the product of extensive work by the Association's oceangoing cruise lines and their teams of experts, including the recommendations from the Healthy Sail panel established by RCG-Royal Caribbean Group and NCLH-Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, as well as Carnival Corporation’s collection of outside independent experts and MSC’s Blue Ribbon group. Other considerations include the effective protocols developed for the successful European sailings by Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises, Ponant, Seadream, TUI Cruises, and others.
CLIA Global Board has unanimously voted to adopt all of the core elements for an initial restart of limited operations in the Americas and operations related to U.S. ports. The core elements will be continuously adjusted against the current state of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Association issued the following statement, coinciding with the release of the core elements agreed to by CLIA ocean-going cruise line members:
“Guided by world-class experts in medicine and science, CLIA and its ocean-going cruise line members have outlined a pathway to support a phased-in, highly-controlled return to passenger service in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America with protocols that promote the health and safety of passengers, crew and the communities visited. The core elements mirror the successful resumption of cruising in other parts of the world and include 100% testing of passengers and crew prior to boarding — a travel industry first. Initial cruises would sail on modified itineraries under stringent protocols that encompass the entirety of the cruise experience, from booking to debarkation. With support and approval of regulators and destinations, cruises could feasibly begin during the remainder of 2020.
The core elements, which are applicable to CLIA member ocean-going cruise ships subject to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) No Sail Order, will also be submitted by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) on behalf of its members in response to the CDC’s Request for Information (RFI) related to the safe resumption of cruise operations. CLIA’s response to the RFI also details other measures that address the entire cruise experience from booking to disembarkation.”