FULL STEAM AHEAD

CDC Completely Removes Risk Warning Against Cruise Travel

Cruise ships in PortMiami. Photo courtesy of PortMiami.
Cruise ships in PortMiami. Photo courtesy of PortMiami.

After two years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has dropped its notice of its assessment of cruise as a health risk. 

The announcement comes only two weeks after the CDC lowered the risk level of cruising from Level 3 to Level 2, indicating a moderate risk.  It had been at highest risk Level 4, which included advice to avoid cruise travel, for nearly two years of the pandemic.

Industry association CLIA was thrilled by the CDC’s announcement of the removal of the health notice against cruising.

"Today's decision by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to altogether remove the Travel Health Notice for cruising recognizes the effective public health measures in place on cruise ships and begins to level the playing field, between cruise and similarly situated venues on land, for the first time since March 2020," it said in a statement.

Some individual cruise lines have also already responded to the news:

Holland America Line’s president, Gus Antorcha, said Wednesday, The CDC’s removal of its health notice related to cruise travel 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.

“We recently extended our Worry-Free Promise to allow flexible cancelation for cruise bookings made by May 31 and embarking by September 30 of this year.”

Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages also responded to the update. “We’re 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.”

The CDC's voluntary program that assesses and grades individual ships' health practices, including vaccination levels, remains in operation. Most major cruise lines voluntarily signed up to participate in the program that replaced the Conditional Sailing Order which expired on 15JAN.

Lynn Elmhirst

Editor

With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

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