US Cruises Halted Through October After COVID Infections Overseas

With new coronavirus clusters sprouting aboard ships overseas, the U.S. cruise industry is extending its suspension of operations through October.

Cruise Lines International Association, which includes Carnival, Royal Caribbean and dozens of other cruise companies, announced Wednesday that their members are voluntarily extending suspension of ocean-going cruise operations to Oct. 31.

“This is a difficult decision as we recognize the crushing impact that this pandemic has had on our community and every other industry,” CLIA said in a statement. “However, we believe this proactive action further demonstrates the cruise industry’s commitment to public health and willingness to voluntarily suspend operations in the interest of public health and safety.”

A no-sail order for U.S. waters initially issued by the Centers for Disease Control in March has been extended through Sept. 30.

The CLIA has extended its travel suspension twice. A Norwegian cruise line halted all trips and apologized Monday after a coronavirus outbreak aboard one vessel infected at least 5 passengers and 36 crew. Health authorities fear the ship may have spread the virus to dozens of towns and villages along the west coast of Norway.

Positive coronavirus tests have also been reported this week on cruise ships in Italy and Tahiti.