As the Deepwater Horizon oil spill situation continues, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and its individual cruise line members expressed their deep concern and empathy for all those businesses and individuals negatively affected. All CLIA member cruises sailing from Gulf of Mexico and Florida ports are operating, with occasional and infrequent alternations of course depending on possible presence of oil in the water, CLIA reports.
“We are distressed by the environmental damage already caused and worried about ongoing harm to fragile ecosystems along America’s Gulf and Florida coastlines,” CLIA said in a statement. “The cruise industry, like the Gulf fishing and tourism industries, is dependent on the ocean and coastal destinations for our livelihood and it is in our best interests to do whatever we can to help find solutions, recognizing that resolving this situation is largely beyond the industry’s control. CLIA and its members continue to monitor the Deepwater Horizon oil spill situation. We are in regular contact with the U.S. Coast Guard and District Seven Command in Miami as well as ports and tourism entities throughout Florida. We are receiving federal government updates on the situation, specifically movement of the oil in tides and currents around the Gulf and in proximity to the Florida Coastline, the Keys and Caribbean. While the situation continues to evolve and change, and oil has been reported on some Florida beaches, at the current time no cruise operations are being negatively impacted.”
CLIA said it joined with Visit Florida and other tourism organizations in the region to urge consumers and, in particular, its 16,000 travel agent members to make no changes in travel and vacation plans in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico region. Travelers booked on cruises in the region are encouraged to contact their individual cruise line or their travel agent for information relating to a specific cruise.
CLIA and its members will continue to provide updates on the situation in order to keep travel planners and consumers fully informed. Several websites are providing information as it develops. These include www.cruising.org and the Visit Florida Travel Update page. In addition, the latest information can be obtained at www.twitter.com/FloridaTourism and Visit Florida’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/FloridaTourism.
CLIA also offered a list of organizations for those who wish to make a contribution to oil spill clean up efforts:
* Deepwater Horizon Response Volunteer Request Line: 1-866-448-5816
* www.nwf.org/oilspill (National Wildlife Federation)
* 866-279-7983 or 877-847-7470 (to offer a vessel to assist in clean up)