This Week in Cruise Recovery: More Ships Will Restart; Florida Sues CDC

With increasing frequency, major cruise lines are moving forward with summer "restart" plans. Most recently, Crystal announced that Crystal Symphony will sail a series 10-night "Luxury Caribbean Escapes" roundtrip from St. John’s, Antigua, between August 5, 2021 through late December 2021. Ports of call include Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Maarten and the British Virgin Islands. Reservations open on April 20, 2021. 

Viking will continue restarting limited cruise operations with sailings around Bermuda and Iceland, starting in June 2021. The line also added two additional June 2021 sailings of the “England's Scenic Shores” itinerary; sailings for U.K. citizens. 

On the Vaccine Front

Silversea Cruises announced a new global vaccine requirement protocol for its healthy return to service. All embarking crew and guests must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to boarding. The only potential exclusion is for sailings from Australia, for which the health/safety protocol is still under evaluation.

Silversea will introduce new eastern Mediterranean voyages onboard Silver Moon, starting on June 18, 2021. The line's flagship will sail roundtrip from Athens (Piraeus) on 10-day itineraries. Calls will include the Greek destinations of Santorini, ParosMykonos and Crete, plus Haifa, Israel and Cyprus. The voyages will open for sale on April 15, 2021.

The Push for Opening U.S. Ports

The State of Florida has turned up the heat on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to lift its "Conditional Sailing" Order (CSO) so cruising can resume from domestic cruise ports. Last Thursday, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state had filed a lawsuit in federal district court against the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Biden Administration.

In a press release regarding the lawsuit, the state said that "this unprecedented, year-long lockdown of an entire industry by the federal government has directly harmed the State of Florida, its citizens and their families, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars in economic activity."

Trade organizations including the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) both came out in support to reopening the cruise industry from United States ports. 

Support of the Trade 

To support cruise sellers this year, Carnival Cruise Line is resuming its popular “Why Use a Travel Advisor" (WUATA) party in a new virtual format. Carnival is encouraging travel advisors to invite one current client and one “not-yet-a-client” along for a fun and informative experience. Look for it Thursday, April 29, 2021, at 5 p.m. EDT.

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