Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced on Wednesday that its ocean-going cruise line members have agreed to voluntarily suspend U.S. cruise operations until at least October 31, 2020.
“Despite the valuable alignment between CLIA’s previous voluntary suspension to 15 September and the CDC’s current No-Sail Order date of September 30, we believe it is prudent at this time to voluntarily extend the suspension of U.S. ocean-going cruise operations to October 31,” CLIA said in a statement on behalf of its members.
It continued: “This is a difficult decision, as we recognize the crushing impact that this pandemic has had on our community and every other industry. 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, as has occurred twice prior. CLIA cruise line members will continue to monitor the situation with the understanding that we will revisit a possible further extension on or before September 30, 2020. At the same time, should conditions in the U.S. change and it becomes possible to consider short, modified sailings, we would consider an earlier restart.”
According to CLIA’s most recent Economic Impact Study, cruise activity in the United States supports roughly 421,000 American jobs and generates $53 billion annually in economic activity throughout the country. Each day of the suspension of U.S. cruise operations results in a loss of up to $110 million in economic activity and 800 direct and indirect American jobs. The effect of the suspension is particularly profound in states that depend heavily on cruise tourism, including Florida, Texas, Alaska, Washington, New York and California.