In positive news, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill that would temporarily allow foreign-flagged cruise ships to temporarily bypass the U.S. law requirement for them to make a foreign port call on all sailings between U.S. ports. That could potentially salvage part of the summer 2021 Alaska season, given Canada's cruise ship ban this year. The U.S. House of Representatives must then also agree, and any bill would then need to be signed by President Joe Biden. But it’s a step in the right direction, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
In addition, Carnival Sensation sailed into the Port of Mobile, AL, and docked at the Alabama Cruise Terminal. Crew members also received COVID-19 vaccinations at the terminal. “We value the partnership of the port and city of Mobile and look forward to resuming sailing from the Alabama Cruise Terminal as soon as we can,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president.
MSC Cruises restarted cruising from the United Kingdom, while Costa Cruises restarted cruising with a second ship in Europe, Costa Luminosa, from Trieste, Italy.
In addition, Azamara, now owned by Sycamore Partners, announced it will restart cruising in Greece this August with vaccinations required for guests and crew required.
On the product side, Oceania Cruises introduced more enhancements to its product under the umbrella of OceaniaNEXT.
Norwegian Cruise Line revealed that its next new class of ship will be called Prima Class (previously the Leonardo Project). Norwegian Prima will be the first ship and will debut enhancements for The Haven, dining venues and outdoor decks.