Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has extended its suspension of sailings through to October 31 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, the company said the suspension would apply to all voyages embarking between October 1 and October 31, 2020 for its three cruise brands: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas.
Last week, Princess Cruises, which is owned by Carnival Corporation, said it was extending its pause of global operations until mid-December for most of its sailings due to “ the continued progression of COVID-19 and related decisions of various government, health authorities, and airlines regarding travel restrictions,”
CDC extend sailing suspension
In mid-July, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it was extending its No Sail Order for cruise ships through September 30, 2020, citing an increased risk for COVID-19 on board cruises.
The CDC has issued a call for public and cruise industry input on questions related to the resumption of passenger operations aboard cruise ships. The organization published a list of 28 questions which the public and industry stakeholders have been given until September 21, just nine days before the current expiry date of the CDC’s No Sail Order, which has been in place since March 14.
With no clear date on the horizon for a return to cruising from North America, Norwegian said that beginning in August, it plans to provide an update at the end of each month regarding the status of voyage suspensions, including any potential extensions.
Norwegian recently announced a collaboration with Royal Caribbean Group to develop enhanced cruise health and safety standards in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Healthy Sail Panel is comprised of top experts in public health, infectious disease, biosecurity, hospitality, and maritime operations, and is tasked with collaboratively developing recommendations for cruise lines to advance their public health response to COVID-19, improve safety, and achieve readiness for the safe resumption of operations.
The panel is expected to offer initial recommendations by the end of August.