Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) announced that voyages for Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises are cancelled through May 31. It's an extension of the cruise company's previously announced suspension of global voyages. The latest "pause" impacts all voyages on more than two dozen ships representing 59,150 cruise berths.
In a press release, NCLH said the extension of the operational "pause" comes as it "continues to work through its return to service plan to meet the requirements of the 'Framework for Conditional Sailing' Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."
Guests who are currently booked on cancelled voyages on Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises or Regent Seven Seas Cruises are asked to contact their travel advisor or the cruise line for more information.
NCLH said it will continue to work in tandem with global government and public health authorities, as well as its Healthy Sail Panel of expert advisors to take all necessary measures to protect its guests, crew and the communities visited.
The Healthy Sail panel of medical, scientific, hospitality and operations experts was created in a joint effort last summer by NCLH and Royal Caribbean Group. Those experts sifted through the latest medical research and findings about the COVID-19 virus and suggested numerous best health/safety practices so the cruise lines could develop a "bubble-like" concept onboard cruise ships and ashore to protect guests, crew and the communities visited.
The panel's recommended health/safety protocols were submitted last fall to the CDC. While the CDC did not renew its "No Sail Order" the end of October, it instead issued a "Framework for Conditional Sailing Order" that remains in effect and includes steps needed for resumption of mid- to large-sized cruise ship operations from U.S. ports.
Cruise lines, however, are awaiting more detailed information from the CDC on how to proceed further.