Cruise lines and Florida are on track for a standoff over COVID-19 vaccine requirements

carnival cruise
The Carnival Ecstasy docked at the Port of Jacksonville on March 27, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida.

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order banning businesses from requiring vaccines applies to cruise lines.
  • However, several cruise lines have already announced vaccine mandates.
  • DeSantis has been vocal about the cruise industry and previously said the state would sue the CDC to bring cruises back sooner.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Florida and cruise companies could be locked in a battle over vaccine requirements as the state puts a ban on vaccine passports while cruise lines continue to mandate the jabs for passengers and crew.

On April 2, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order banning vaccine passports and local businesses from requiring this proof of vaccination. This ban applies to cruise lines as well, DeSantis’ press secretary Cody McCloud told Insider in an email.

“The Governor’s Executive Order provides that businesses in Florida are prohibited from requiring patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business,” McCloud told Insider in an email. “Therefore, the Executive Order prohibits cruise lines from requiring vaccine passports for their Florida operations.”

Read more: The Great GOP Migration: How South Florida became a shadow capital for Trump conservatives

However, many cruise lines have already announced some form of a vaccine requirement, whether it be for crew, guests, or both. This includes Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which recently unveiled a sweeping vaccine requirement for its Norwegian, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas brand. Other cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, have held off on guest or crew requirements, instead opting to announce select “fully vaccinated” sailings.

However, major cruise lines – with the exception of those with a sweeping vaccine mandate – have withheld announcing a vaccine policy for future sailing series departing from US ports. So far, all of Royal Caribbean’s cruises operating under a vaccine order will be sailing out of international ports located in countries like Israel, Bermuda, and Cyprus.

DeSantis’ decision to prohibit cruise lines from requiring vaccines could prove to be yet another major issue for cruise companies, many of which have historically sailed out of Florida ports. But some experts have questioned DeSantis’ ability to impose such a ban upon cruise lines, according to a report from the Sun Sentinel.

This includes Jim Walker – an attorney based in South Florida with a specialization in maritime law – who told the Sun Sentinel that DeSantis may not have the jurisdiction needed to either prohibit cruise lines from enforcing a vaccine mandate or bring cruises back.

Regardless, it could be a while before we see any stand-off between the state and cruise lines interested in sailing out of Florida with a vaccine requirement.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to give cruise lines the green light to resume sailing and has shied away from enforcing an industry-wide vaccine mandate. As a result, no major cruise lines will be sailing from US ports in the near future, even if the ship is traveling with a vaccine mandate.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Former FDA commissioner says cruises could be a ‘lower risk endeavor’ compared to other travel

cruise ships
Cruise ships.

  • Cruises could be “lower risk” compared to travel options like international trips, Scott Gottlieb told CNBC.
  • Gottlieb is a former FDA commissioner and the co-chair of Norwegian and Royal Caribbean’s Health Sail Panel.
  • Cruise lines have implemented many health protocols that could turn ships into “protective bubbles.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Cruising could be a “lower risk” travel option compared to other alternatives, such as overseas vacations, Scott Gottlieb, the former US Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on April 9.

Many major cruise lines have created robust health and safety protocols to make the return of sailing safer amid COVID-19. This includes Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Group, which partnered to establish the Healthy Sail Panel. The panel suggests ways for the industry to move ahead safely amid virus concerns and is currently being co-chaired by Gottlieb, a Pfizer board member.

The panel has already recommended 74 protocols, from face mask use to COVID-19 testing for guests and crew.

“As you start to implement all these public health recommendations that we’ve outlined, you start to create an environment that can be quite safe,” Gottlieb told CNBC. “You can create a protective bubble around the [cruise] experience.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, virus outbreaks aboard cruise ships around the world left thousands of cruisers stranded or infected. Shortly after, the CDC put a no-sail order in place, which was later replaced by its recently updated conditional sailing order.

Read more: Carnival and Royal Caribbean salaries revealed: From $32,000 to $383,000, here’s how much the cruise industry’s power players pay some of their employees

To make the return of sailing safer, several cruise lines have implemented COVID-19 vaccine mandates. This includes Norwegian, which recently declared a vaccine requirement for both guests and crew.

Shortly after this announcement, Frank Del Rio, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ president and CEO, told CNBC’s Jim Cramer that cruise ships will “de facto become the safest place on earth” as more cruise companies continue to ramp up health protocols.

“I challenge you to tell me of another venue anywhere that has this kind of ironclad health and safety protocols in place,” Del Rio told CNBC’s Cramer.

Gottlieb has since echoed Del Rio’s sentiments regarding the safety of cruise ships.

“I believe you can create a safe bubble around that experience, especially when you’re comparing it to other vacation experiences where you can’t control the environment,” Gottlieb told CNBC.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Several cruise lines just moved their sailing restart dates. See when major cruise lines plan on operating again.

MSC Cruise
Major cruise lines such as MSC Cruises have already begun sailings in Europe.

  • Many major cruise lines will not be setting sail until, at the earliest, May (often as fully vaccinated cruises).
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends avoiding cruise trips during the pandemic.
  • These are the updated 2021 sailing plans for cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Disney Cruises.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Bad news for any eager cruisegoers: cruise lines are continuing to extend cruising suspensions into 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The cruising industry initially saw a quiet period after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted and extended its no-sail order as the coronavirus pandemic began surging in 2020. But after months of waiting, in October, the CDC replaced its mandatory sailing pause with a “framework for Conditional Sailing Order,” a list of rigorous requirements needed for cruise lines to continue operating again by November.

Despite this order, an update to it in April, and the impending debut of several cruise ships over the next few years, the return of cruising still remains in limbo. Presently, no major US cruises will be setting sail until May at the earliest, but many cruise lines are still continuing to push back their sail dates.

Read more: COVID-19 has created a once-in-a-lifetime crisis for Carnival and Royal Caribbean, but after surviving hijackings and shipwrecks, the industry looks unsinkable

Keep scrolling to see the updated sailing suspension dates for several major cruise lines:

Norwegian Cruises

norwegian epic cruise ship
Norwegian Cruises.

On a suspended sailings update on December 29, 2020, Norwegian hit the pause button on all of its cruises that were set to sail through March. However, on January 19, the cruise line pushed this sail date back one month through April.

Almost a month later, Norwegian canceled all of its cruises through May. But on March 16, the cruise line announced it would be suspending all trips through June 30, including cruises on its Oceania and Regent Seven Seas lines.

On April 6, Norwegian announced it would halt sailings on eight ships – the Norwegian Breakaway, Dawn, Escape, Getaway, Sky, Spirit, Star, and Sun – through August 31. Sailings on the Norwegian Epic and Pearl were also put on hold through September 1 and November 7, respectively.

However, sailings aboard the Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Jade, and Norwegian Gem are set to resume in July as fully vaccinated cruises in Europe and the Caribbean.

Princess Cruises

A fishing boat sails past the Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess cruise ship as it docks in Manila Bay during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cavite city, Philippines, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess cruise ship docks in Manila Bay during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cavite city

Princess Cruises originally paused its trips through March, according to a notice posted on November 20, 2020, but announced on January 6 that it would be extending this pause through May 14.

The cruise line had also paused all sailings through November 1 that were set to be longer than seven days going to and from US ports, and any trips sailing to and from Japan through June 25, according to the November notice.

“We continue to prepare our ships for our return to service and we are eager to see our guests back on board to create summertime memories,” Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ president, said in a statement.

However, on March 9, the cruise line again updated its suspensions list with different timelines for different cruises. For example, cruises from Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, and Rome have been halted through the end of June, while European cruises originally set to sail to and from Southhampton, England have been paused through September 25. You can view the updated sailing timelines on Princess Cruises’ website.

When the cruise line resumes sailing, several ships – including the Diamond Princess and the Grand Princess – will have Princess’ MedallionClass Experience. This “experience” includes new health protocols and contactless features.

Carnival Cruises

carnival cruise
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Ecstasy cruise ship is docked at the Port of Jacksonville amid the coronavirus outbreak on March 27, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida.

A full list of suspended sailing dates per ship is available on Carnival’s website. In a January 6 news release, Carnival cruises announced it would resume sailing after March 31 with several ships remaining docked even further into the future.

“We are sorry to disappoint our guests, as we can see from our booking activity that there is clearly a pent-up demand for cruising on Carnival,” Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement on the news release.

However, 16 days later, Carnival updated this statement and hit the pause button on all trips through April 30. On February 24, the cruise line pushed its no-sail timeline even further back through May.

According to a press release posted on December 9, 2020, Carnival has set up dry docks for the Carnival Magic, Carnival Paradise, and Carnival Valor, therefore halting any of the ships’ embarkments through September 24, May 31, and September 11, respectively. However, on January 25, Carnival announced its plans to suspend these three ships even further until November.

The January 25 release also included announcements related to several other ships and trips. One notable sailing freeze in the update includes trips out of San Diego. Seasonal service trips and planned sailings through April 2023 out of San Diego have now been suspended, and seven of these sailings to Hawaii have been moved to Long Beach, California instead.

Read more: Carnival’s CEO told employees in an internal video that ‘a new sense of optimism’ in the cruising industry will let him end their 20% pay cuts

The upcoming inaugural Mardi Gras trip was also pushed back as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

On April 6, Carnival halted all sailings from US ports through June 30. Christine Duffy, president of Carnival, said in a press release that the cruise line may instead decide to resume sailing from ports outside of the US, a workaround other cruise lines like Royal Caribbean have decided to employ as well.

“We are asking that the cruise industry be treated on par with the approach being taken with other travel and tourism sectors, as well as US society at large,” Duffy said in the press release.

Royal Caribbean

Wonder of the Seas cruise ship Royal Caribbean
The Wonder of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean originally suspended its cruise trips through February 28, according to a December 17 update. However, on January 12, the cruise line pushed its no-sail date back even further through April 30. The only exceptions to this are its Quantum of the Seas ship in Singapore and Spectrum of the Seas ship in China.

Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Cruises line also halted any trips originally planned through April 30, according to an update on January 12. Several other Celebrity Cruises sailings were paused even further through October.

Less than a month later on March 9, Celebrity announced it would push this pause back through May.

Read more: Carnival and Royal Caribbean salaries revealed: From $32,000 to $383,000, here’s how much the cruise industry’s power players pay some of their employees

On January 13, Royal Caribbean’s Silversea Cruises released an updated list of sailing dates with the first trip embarking on April 1. However, the soonest sail date was later pushed back to May 1, according to a January 21 update.

About two months later on March 9, the mega cruise group announced extended sailing pauses for its Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Silversea, and Azamara lines.

Now, Royal Caribbean sailings will be put on hold through May 31, excluding its Quantum of the Seas and Odyssey of the Seas ships.

Quantum of the Seas’ Alaska trips from April 5 to October 14 have instead been put on hold “in order to allow additional time for our preparation,” the cruise line announced. Meanwhile, Odyssey of the Seas’ Rome sailings from May 9 to October 28 have also been suspended. The new ship will instead set sail from Israel from June to October for Israeli residents only.

Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas sailings in China beginning the end of April through May are also exempt from this pause.

Celebrity and Silversea’s cruises have also been suspended through May 31, while Azamara’s has been pushed back through June 30.

Holland America Line

holland america
Holland America.

Holland America originally paused all cruise trips through April 30, according to an update on January 6. All trips departing or arriving in Canada this year were also been canceled.

On March 9, the cruise line updated this no-sail order and extended it through June 30.

Read more: Vacationers already devote 35% of cruise trip budgets to onboard retail purchases – and experts say pandemic protocols will only make duty-free retail more pivotal

Disney Cruises

disney cruise
Disney Cruises.

Disney Cruises halted all trips through February 28, according to a travel updated posted on December 11, 2020. Cruises longer than seven nights have been suspended even further. One month later on January 12, Disney Cruises extended its no-sail date through March.

On January 27, Disney Cruises pushed this sailing freeze timeline through April, and then again through May in a February 24 announcement. All Disney Magic sailings in Europe through August 10 were then also canceled due to the “likelihood of international borders remaining closed for an extended period of time.”

On April 6, this timeline was set even further back with the suspension of Disney Dream, Fantasy, and Wonder sailings – all originally set to depart from the US – through June. The original Disney Magic cruises were also halted through September 18. The ship will instead sail as “staycation” cruises for UK residents this summer.

Like other cruise lines, Disney is “evaluating various options” for its Disney Wonder Alaska cruises with dockings in Canada.

See the full list of suspended Disney Cruises here.

MSC Cruises

MSC Magnifica cruise ship passes through the Saint Mark Basin in Venice, Italy June 9, 2019..JPG
MSC Magnifica cruise ship in Italy.

MSC released a list of cancellation dates per cruise ship, and the sail dates vary from the end of January to November. Trips on the MSC Armonia, for example, have been canceled through May 28, while the MSC Preziosa won’t be seeing any passengers until after May 31.

Ships like the MSC Fantasia won’t hit the seas until June 5.

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises
P&O Cruises.

P&O previously announced it halted all trips through April. Now, trips on P&O’s Arcadia, Aurora, Azura, and Ventura ships have been paused through August, while its Britannia and Iona ship sailings have been put on hold through September.

Costa Cruises

Costa Cruises Costa Pacifica
Costa Cruises’ Costa Pacifica.

On March 22, Costa Cruises announced it would delay the return of its cruises until May due to coronavirus-related restrictions in certain European countries.

“Such measures do not allow the company to offer the best cruise vacations to its guests, especially for what concerns the experience ashore,” the cruise line noted in a press release.

Costa – a Carnival-owned brand that specializes in cruising around Europe – had previous planned to restart on March 27. As of April 6, the Costa Deliziosa, Firenze, Magica and Pacifica will all resume sailing either May 28 or 29.

Are you a cruise industry employee or have a cruise industry story to share? Contact this reporter at bchang@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A US cruise line just announced a vaccine requirement. These are all the cruise lines that will require COVID-19 vaccinations for guests and crew

norwegian epic cruise ship
The Norwegian Epic.

  • The return of cruising still remains in limbo for many cruise lines.
  • Companies including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian have announced vaccine requirements.
  • These are all the cruise lines that have COVID-19 vaccine requirements for guests or crew.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Several cruise lines have started announcing vaccination requirements for guests and crew members as the industry looks to restart after the the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, cruise ships that were mid-trip began facing COVID-19 related turmoils as the virus began trickling around the world, leaving passengers stuck, infected, or dead. Shortly after, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order, which was later replaced by its “Framework for Conditional Sailing Order,” a compilation of protocols needed for cruising to resume again.

Despite this new framework – and pent-up demand for highly anticipated cruise ships and trips – the official return of cruising still remains in limbo. Presently, no major US cruises will be welcoming passengers until May, but companies are constantly extending this pause on sailing.

But as the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be distributed across the globe, this could soon change.

“If we start to see vaccines become more widely available, and if the vaccines are being administered in a far more efficient manner than they have been, I think it would be reasonable for the cruise lines to say a vaccine is required,” Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and president of the Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider in an interview.

However, vaccine rollout and accessibility has been a notorious struggle around the world. As a result, Harteveldt notes that it may be “counterproductive” for major cruise lines like Carnival and Norwegian to require its guests to receive the vaccine if sailings actually resume in the next few months instead of later in the year, say July.

But over the last month, cruise lines have become increasingly vocal about the vaccine. While some companies – such as Carnival and its Holland America line – are “reviewing” the different vaccines, several others have already announced vaccination protocols for guests and crew members.

These are all the cruise lines with vaccine-related mandates so far:

Saga Cruises

GettyImages 1228287632
Saga Cruises.

On January 21, United Kingdom-based Saga Cruises announced that it would require all of its passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks before a trip. Saga primarily caters to passengers over 50-years-old.

Royal Caribbean

Wonder of the Seas cruise ship Royal Caribbean
The Wonder of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean expects to require its crew members to receive the vaccine before sailings return, a spokesperson told Insider.

On March 1, the cruise line also announced its first “fully vaccinated” cruise aboard the Odyssey of the Seas, which will be sailing in May from Israel. Both crew members and guests over 16 years old will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to sail on the upcoming cruise.

“Royal Caribbean’s decision to come to Israel is a significant expression of confidence in our policy,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in the press release announcing the cruise. “Just as we made Israel the world champion in vaccines, we will make it the world champion in economics and tourism in the post-coronavirus era.”

On March 19, Royal Caribbean announced a similar series of seven-night sailings from July to August aboard its Adventure of the Seas ship. These summertime cruises will bring guests from Nassau, Bahamas to islands like the Grand Bahama, Cozumel, Mexico, and Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Like the Israel-based Odyssey of the Seas sailings, every adult passenger interested in this upcoming Adventure of the Seas collection will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Guests under 18-years-old will instead have to test negative for the virus.

“The vaccines are clearly a game-changer for all of us, and with the number of vaccinations and their impact growing rapidly, we believe starting with cruises for vaccinated adult guests and crew is the right choice,” Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said in a press release. “As we move forward, we expect this requirement and other measures will inevitably evolve over time.”

On March 23, Royal Caribbean announced another set of seven-night summer cruises, this time from Bermuda aboard the Vision of the Seas ship. Like its previous announcements, these new cruises – which will sail from June 26 through August – will require crew members and adult guests to be vaccinated against COVID-19 “at this time.” Passengers under 18 years old will instead have to test negative for the virus.

Guests aboard this recently announced “fully vaccinated” summer cruise will get a full day at Perfect Day at CocoCay and an overnight stay in Bermuda.

One day later, the mega cruise line announced another set of fully vaccinated seven-night cruises, this time from Limassol, Cyprus. These cruises, which will sail from July 10 through October, will bring guests around Cyprus and Greece, including tourist hotspots like Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. The same crew, adults, and guests under 18 years old health protocols from the prior two Royal Caribbean announcements apply to this sailing as well.

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Symphony
The Crystal Symphony.

On February 18, Crystal Cruises said it would require guests to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before a cruise. The cruise line is also requiring a negative coronavirus test result from travelers and crew members, among other health protocols.

“We know that peace of mind is the greatest luxury, and the vaccine requirement is simply the best way to ensure the safest possible Crystal Experience for all on board,” Jack Anderson, the cruise line’s interim president and CEO, said in a press release.

Hornblower Group’s “overnight” cruise lines

Victory Cruise Lines
A Victory Cruise Lines’ ship on the Georgian Bay

Hornblower Group’s American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines have both announced requirements for guests and crew members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for sailings starting July 1.

According to John Waggoner, CEO and founder of American Queen Steamboat Company, requiring the vaccine will ensure the “safest cruising experience possible.” However, the cruise lines is are still looking to resume sailing in April, prior to this vaccination deadline.

Norwegian Cruise Line and Regent Seven Seas Cruises

norwegian epic cruise ship
The Norwegian Epic.

Norwegian Cruise Line and its Regent Seven Seas Cruises have announced COVID-19 vaccine requirements for crew members prior to boarding. However, the cruise lines are still “exploring all options” in regards to vaccination requirements for its guests, according to the cruise lines’ statements sent to Insider.

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady

Richard Branson’s adults-only cruise line, Virgin Voyages, has announced it will be making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for both guests and crew in order to “provide the safest travel experience,” Tom McAlpin, Virgin Voyages’ CEO, said in an email statement sent to Insider.

“The is a step towards the safe return to sailing and is the right decision for Virgin Voyages,” McAlpin said in the statement. “We’re really encouraged by the latest rollout plans in the May time frame from the new administration, and we know the future is about vaccinations. Our business makes us uniquely set up to do this with testing and vaccine travel requirements.”

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises' Britannia ship
P&O Cruises’ Britannia ship.

On March 17, P&O Cruises – owned by Carnival Corp – announced a summertime Ultimate Escape cruise collection that will sail along the UK coast. However, the cruises will only be available to UK residents who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least seven days before the trip.

The decision to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for guests was based on the “advanced progress of the UK vaccination program and strong expressed preference on the part of our guests,” P&O said in a press release.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Eclipse
Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Eclipse ship.

On March 19, Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Cruises announced seven-night Caribbean sailings departing from June 5 to August aboard the Celebrity Millennium ship.

Like its parent company’s sailings, all crew members and adult guests interested in Celebrity’s summer Caribbean cruises will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19. People under 18 years old will instead have to receive a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of the trip.

Windstar Cruises

Two WSC yachts at sea
Windstar Cruises’ yachts.

On March 30, US-based Windstar Cruises announced a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for its guests and crew.

Guests interested in sailing with the small cruise line – which oversees six ships – must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before sailing. Proof of the vaccination and a negative COVID-19 PCR test will then have to be presented in order to board the ship.

Windstar’s crew will also have to be vaccinated “as soon as the vaccine is available to them,” according to the cruise line.

Are you a cruise industry employee or have a cruise industry story to share? Contact this reporter at bchang@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Richard Branson’s cruise line just announced a vaccine requirement. These are all the cruise lines that will require COVID-19 vaccinations for guests and crew

norwegian epic cruise ship
The Norwegian Epic.

  • The return of cruising still remains in limbo for many cruise lines.
  • Companies including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian have announced vaccine requirements.
  • These are all the cruise lines that have COVID-19 vaccine requirements for guests or crew.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Several cruise lines have started announcing vaccination requirements for guests and crew members as the industry looks to restart after the the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, cruise ships that were mid-trip began facing COVID-19 related turmoils as the virus began trickling around the world, leaving passengers stuck, infected, or dead. Shortly after, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order, which was later replaced by its “Framework for Conditional Sailing Order,” a compilation of protocols needed for cruising to resume again.

Despite this new framework – and pent-up demand for highly anticipated cruise ships and trips – the official return of cruising still remains in limbo. Presently, no major US cruises will be welcoming passengers until May, but companies are constantly extending this pause on sailing.

However, as the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be distributed across the globe, this could soon change.

“If we start to see vaccines become more widely available, and if the vaccines are being administered in a far more efficient manner than they have been, I think it would be reasonable for the cruise lines to say a vaccine is required,” Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and president of the Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider in an interview.

However, vaccine rollout and accessibility has been a notorious struggle around the world. As a result, Harteveldt notes that it may be “counterproductive” for major cruise lines like Carnival and Norwegian to require its guests to receive the vaccine if sailings actually resume in the next few months instead of later in the year, say July.

But over the last month, cruise lines have become increasingly vocal about the vaccine. While some companies – such as Carnival and its Holland America line – are “reviewing” the different vaccines, several others have already announced vaccination protocols for guests and crew members.

These are all the cruise lines with vaccine-related mandates so far:

Saga Cruises

GettyImages 1228287632
Saga Cruises.

On January 21, United Kingdom-based Saga Cruises announced that it would require all of its passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks before a trip. Saga primarily caters to passengers over 50-years-old.

Royal Caribbean

Wonder of the Seas cruise ship Royal Caribbean
The Wonder of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean expects to require its crew members to receive the vaccine before sailings return, a spokesperson told Insider.

On March 1, the cruise line also announced its first “fully vaccinated” cruise aboard the Odyssey of the Seas, which will be sailing in May from Israel. Both crew members and guests over 16 years old will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to sail on the upcoming cruise.

“Royal Caribbean’s decision to come to Israel is a significant expression of confidence in our policy,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in the press release announcing the cruise. “Just as we made Israel the world champion in vaccines, we will make it the world champion in economics and tourism in the post-coronavirus era.”

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Symphony
The Crystal Symphony.

On February 18, Crystal Cruises said it would require guests to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before a cruise. The cruise line is also requiring a negative coronavirus test result from travelers and crew members, among other health protocols.

“We know that peace of mind is the greatest luxury, and the vaccine requirement is simply the best way to ensure the safest possible Crystal Experience for all on board,” Jack Anderson, the cruise line’s interim president and CEO, said in a press release.

Hornblower Group’s “overnight” cruise lines

Victory Cruise Lines
A Victory Cruise Lines’ ship on the Georgian Bay

Hornblower Group’s American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines have both announced requirements for guests and crew members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for sailings starting July 1.

According to John Waggoner, CEO and founder of American Queen Steamboat Company, requiring the vaccine will ensure the “safest cruising experience possible.” However, the cruise lines is are still looking to resume sailing in April, prior to this vaccination deadline.

Norwegian Cruise Line and Regent Seven Seas Cruises

norwegian epic cruise ship
The Norwegian Epic.

Norwegian Cruise Line and its Regent Seven Seas Cruises have announced COVID-19 vaccine requirements for crew members prior to boarding. However, the cruise lines are still “exploring all options” in regards to vaccination requirements for its guests, according to the cruise lines’ statements sent to Insider.

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady

Richard Branson’s adults-only cruise line, Virgin Voyages, has announced it will be making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for both guests and crew in order to “provide the safest travel experience,” Tom McAlpin, Virgin Voyages’ CEO, said in an email statement sent to Insider.

“The is a step towards the safe return to sailing and is the right decision for Virgin Voyages,” McAlpin said in the statement. “We’re really encouraged by the latest rollout plans in the May time frame from the new administration, and we know the future is about vaccinations. Our business makes us uniquely set up to do this with testing and vaccine travel requirements.”

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises' Britannia ship
P&O Cruises’ Britannia ship.

On March 17, P&O Cruises – owned by Carnival Corp – announced a summertime Ultimate Escape cruise collection that will sail along the UK coast. However, the cruises will only be available to UK residents who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least seven days before the trip.

The decision to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for guests was based on the “advanced progress of the UK vaccination program and strong expressed preference on the part of our guests,” P&O said in a press release.

Are you a cruise industry employee or have a cruise industry story to share? Contact this reporter at bchang@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Cruise ships are being scrapped as the industry struggles to ride out the pandemic

  • 2020 was supposed to be a banner year for the cruise industry before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
  • With no-sail orders in place, some companies saved money by sending entire cruise ships to the scrapyard.
  • The industry is relying on customer loyalty to bounce back from a disastrous year that has cost lives, jobs and hit revenues hard.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Read the original article on Business Insider

Several cruise trips have already been cancelled this year. See when major cruise lines plan on operating again.

MSC Cruise
Major cruise lines such as MSC Cruises have already begun sailings in Europe.

  • Many major US cruise line will not be setting sail around the country until, at the earliest, May.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends avoiding cruise trips during the pandemic.
  • These are the updated 2021 sailing plans for cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Disney Cruises.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Bad news for any eager cruisegoers: cruise lines are continuing to extend cruising suspensions into 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. 

The cruising industry initially saw a quiet period after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted and extended its no-sail order as the coronavirus pandemic began surging in 2020. But after months of waiting, in October, the CDC replaced its mandatory sailing pause with a “framework for Conditional Sailing Order,” a list of rigorous requirements needed for cruise lines to continue operating again. 

Despite this order, and the impending debut of several cruise ships over the next few years, the return of cruising still remains in limbo. Presently, no major US cruises will be setting sail until May at the earliest, but many cruise lines are now continuing to push back their sail dates as the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge around the US.

Read more: COVID-19 has created a once-in-a-lifetime crisis for Carnival and Royal Caribbean, but after surviving hijackings and shipwrecks, the industry looks unsinkable

Keep scrolling to see the updated sailing suspension dates for several major cruise lines:

Norwegian Cruises

norwegian epic cruise ship
Norwegian Cruises.

On a suspended sailings update on December 29, 2020, Norwegian hit the pause button on all of its cruises that were set to sail through March. However, on January 19, the cruise line pushed this sail date back one month through April.

Almost a month later, Norwegian canceled all of its cruises through May 2021.

Princess Cruises

A fishing boat sails past the Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess cruise ship as it docks in Manila Bay during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cavite city, Philippines, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess cruise ship docks in Manila Bay during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cavite city

Princess Cruises originally paused its trips through March, according to a notice posted on November 20, 2020. However, on January 6, the cruise line extended this timeline, announcing it would halt further sailings through May 14.

The Princess Cruises has also paused all sailings through November 1 that were set to be longer than seven days going to and from US ports, and any trips sailing to and from Japan through June 25, according to the November notice.

“We continue to prepare our ships for our return to service and we are eager to see our guests back on board to create summertime memories,” Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ president, said in a statement.

When the cruise line resume sailing, several ships – including the Diamond Princess and the Grand Princess – will have Princess’ MedallionClass Experience. This “experience” includes new health protocols and contactless features, to name a few details.

Carnival Cruises

carnival cruise
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Ecstasy cruise ship is docked at the Port of Jacksonville amid the coronavirus outbreak on March 27, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida.

A full list of suspended sailing dates per ship is available on Carnival’s website. In a January 6 news release, Carnival cruises announced it would resume sailing after March 31 with several ships remaining docked even further into the future.

“We are sorry to disappoint our guests, as we can see from our booking activity that there is clearly a pent-up demand for cruising on Carnival,” Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement on the news release.

However, 16 days later, Carnival updated this statement and hit the pause button on all trips through April 30. On February 24, the cruise line pushed its no-sail timeline even further back through May.

According to a press release posted on December 9, 2020, Carnival has set up dry docks for the Carnival Magic, Carnival Paradise, and Carnival Valor, therefore halting any of the ships’ embarkments through September 24, May 31, and September 11, respectively. However, on January 25, Carnival announced its plans to suspend these three ships even further until November.

The January 25 release also included announcements related to several other ships and trips. One notable sailing freeze in the update includes trips out of San Diego. Seasonal service trips and planned sailings through April 2023 out of San Diego have now been suspended, and seven of these sailings to Hawaii have been moved to Long Beach, California instead. 

Read more: Carnival’s CEO told employees in an internal video that ‘a new sense of optimism’ in the cruising industry will let him end their 20% pay cuts

The upcoming inaugural Mardi Gras trip was also pushed back as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Royal Caribbean

Wonder of the Seas cruise ship Royal Caribbean
The Wonder of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean originally suspended its cruise trips through February 28, according to a December 17 update. However, on January 12, the cruise line pushed its no-sail date back even further through April 30. The only exceptions to this are its Quantum of the Seas ship in Singapore and Spectrum of the Seas ship in China.

Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Cruises line has also halted any trips originally planned through April 30, according to an update on January 12. Several other Celebrity Cruises sailings have been paused even further through October.

Read more: Carnival and Royal Caribbean salaries revealed: From $32,000 to $383,000, here’s how much the cruise industry’s power players pay some of their employees

On January 13, Royal Caribbean’s Silversea Cruises released an updated list of sailing dates with the first trip embarking on April 1. However the soonest sail date was later pushed back to May 1, according to a January 21 update.

Celebrity Cruises

celebrity cruises apex
Celebrity Cruises.

Celebrity Cruises originally suspended all trips through February 28, and South America sailings with the winter 2021 program through April 7, according to a travel alert posted on December 2.

However, on January 12, Celebrity updated this no-sail date by pushing it through April 30.

Holland America Line

holland america
Holland America.

Holland America will be pausing all cruise trips through April 30, according to an update on January 6. Alaska cruises originally set to depart through mid-May have also been canceled, although some will be halted even further into June.

Several international trips – specifically ones in Canada and the Mediterranean – will be frozen even longer with a pause extension through August for select trips. You can find the pause timeline on Holland America’s website.

Read more: Vacationers already devote 35% of cruise trip budgets to onboard retail purchases – and experts say pandemic protocols will only make duty-free retail more pivotal

Disney Cruises

disney cruise
Disney Cruises.

Disney Cruises halted all trips through February 28, according to a travel updated posted on December 11, 2020. Cruises longer than seven nights have been suspended even further. One month later on January 12, Disney Cruises extended its no-sail date through March.

On January 27, Disney Cruises extended this order through April. Certain Disney cruises once set for May have also been suspended.

See the full list of suspended Disney Cruises here.

MSC Cruises

MSC Magnifica cruise ship passes through the Saint Mark Basin in Venice, Italy June 9, 2019..JPG
MSC Magnifica cruise ship in Italy.

MSC released a list of cancellation dates per cruise ship, and the sail dates vary from the end of January to November. Trips on the MSC Armonia, for example, have been canceled through March 31, while the MSC Bellissima won’t have any passengers through November 22.

Ships like the MSC Fantasia won’t hit the seas until April 4. 

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises
P&O Cruises.

P&O has halted all trips through April. 

Are you a cruise industry employee or have a cruise industry story to share? Contact this reporter at bchang@insider.com.

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These are all the cruise lines that will require COVID-19 vaccinations for guests and crew

norwegian epic cruise ship
The Norwegian Epic.

  • The return of cruising still remains in limbo for many cruise lines.
  • Companies including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian have announced vaccine requirements.
  • These are all the cruise lines that have COVID-19 vaccine requirements for guests or crew.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Several cruise lines have started announcing vaccination requirements for guests and crew members as the industry looks to restart after the the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, cruise ships that were mid-trip began facing COVID-19 related turmoils as the virus began trickling around the world, leaving passengers stuck, infected, or dead. Shortly after, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order, which was later replaced by its “Framework for Conditional Sailing Order,” a compilation of protocols needed for cruising to resume again.

Despite this new framework – and pent-up demand for highly anticipated cruise ships and trips – the official return of cruising still remains in limbo. Presently, no major US cruises will be welcoming passengers until May, but companies are constantly extending this pause on sailing.

However, as the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be distributed across the globe, this could soon change.

“If we start to see vaccines become more widely available, and if the vaccines are being administered in a far more efficient manner than they have been, I think it would be reasonable for the cruise lines to say a vaccine is required,” Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and president of the Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider in an interview.

However, vaccine rollout and accessibility has been a notorious struggle around the world. As a result, Harteveldt notes that it may be “counterproductive” for major cruise lines like Carnival and Norwegian to require its guests to receive the vaccine if sailings actually resume in the next few months instead of later in the year, say July.

But over the last month, cruise lines have become increasingly vocal about the vaccine. While some companies – such as Carnival and its Holland America line – are “reviewing” the different vaccines, several others have already announced vaccination protocols for guests and crew members.

These are all the cruise lines with vaccine-related mandates so far:

Saga Cruises

GettyImages 1228287632
Saga Cruises.

On January 21, United Kingdom-based Saga Cruises announced that it would require all of its passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks before a trip. Saga primarily caters to passengers over 50-years-old.

Royal Caribbean

Wonder of the Seas cruise ship Royal Caribbean
The Wonder of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean expects to require its crew members to receive the vaccine before sailings return, a spokesperson told Insider.

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Symphony
The Crystal Symphony.

On February 18, Crystal Cruises said it would require guests to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before a cruise. The cruise line is also requiring a negative coronavirus test result from travelers and crew members, among other health protocols.

“We know that peace of mind is the greatest luxury, and the vaccine requirement is simply the best way to ensure the safest possible Crystal Experience for all on board,” Jack Anderson, the cruise line’s interim president and CEO, said in a press release.

Hornblower Group’s “overnight” cruise lines

Victory Cruise Lines
A Victory Cruise Lines’ ship on the Georgian Bay

Hornblower Group’s American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines have both announced requirements for guests and crew members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for sailings starting July 1.

According to John Waggoner, CEO and founder of American Queen Steamboat Company, requiring the vaccine will ensure the “safest cruising experience possible.” However, the cruise lines is are still looking to resume sailing in April, prior to this vaccination deadline. 

Norwegian Cruise Line and Regent Seven Seas Cruises

norwegian epic cruise ship
The Norwegian Epic.

Norwegian Cruise Line and its Regent Seven Seas Cruises have announced COVID-19 vaccine requirements for crew members prior to boarding. However, the cruise lines are still “exploring all options” in regards to vaccination requirements for its guests, according to the cruise lines’ statements sent to Insider.

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