TAMPA, Fla. — Norwegian Cruise Line recently announced it would be extending its current suspension of cruises through June due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The suspension, which was originally extended through the end of May, includes all voyages on Norwegian Cruise Line. The company is offering refunds for passengers who booked a cruise in June as well as an additional coupon for future voyages.
In February, Norwegian competitor Carnival Cruise Line extended its cancellations of departures from the United States through the end of May, also citing the ongoing health challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Royal Caribbean also said it would be suspending cruises through the end of April. Disney Cruise Line has suspended all trips through May.
The cruise line industry has been shut down since March 2020 when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordered cruise ships to stop sailing to U.S. ports after several outbreaks convinced officials that the vessels were potential cauldrons of infection. After being renewed several times, the most recent order expired in October 2020, with new guidelines effectively bringing the no-sail order to an end.
The CDC's new cruising guidelines say that in order to resume carrying passengers, the companies have to demonstrate they have procedures for testing, quarantining and isolating passengers and crew. They will have to build test labs on all ships and make their own arrangements to isolate or quarantine passengers on shore, if needed. Before being allowed to sail, they will have to conduct mock voyages with volunteers playing passengers who get sick, the CDC said.
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