CLIA ocean-going cruise lines voluntarily and temporarily shutting down operations from U.S. ports of call for 30 days as public health officials and the U.S. Government continue to address COVID-19.
“CLIA cruise line members are voluntarily and temporarily suspending operations from the U.S. as we work to address this public health crisis,” said Kelly Craighead, President and CEO, CLIA. “This is an unprecedented situation. Our industry has taken responsibility for protecting public health for more than 50 years, working under the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and prides itself on its ability to deliver exceptional vacation experiences for guests, as well as meaningful employment opportunities for crew. This has been a challenging time, but we hope that this decision will enable us to focus on the future and a return to normal as soon as possible.”
The temporary suspension will take effect at 12:00AM EDT on 14 March 2020. CLIA ocean-going cruise lines are focused on the safe and smooth return of those currently at sea onboard ships that will be affected by this decision.
“We do not take this decision lightly, and we want the traveling public to know in no uncertain terms the commitment of this industry to putting people first,” said Adam Goldstein, CLIA Global Chairman. “During this time, we will continue to work with the CDC and others to prepare for resumption of sailings when it is appropriate. We know the travel industry is a huge economic engine for the United States and when our ships once again sail, our industry will be a significant contributor to fueling the economic recovery.”
The cruise industry is a vital artery for the U.S. economy, supporting over 421,000 American jobs, with every 30 cruisers supporting one U.S. job, and annually contributes nearly $53 billion to the U.S. economy. Cruise activity supports travel agencies, airlines, hotels and a broad supply chain of industries that stretches across the United States.
European cruise lines also shutting down operations. Viking announced it will temporarily suspend river and ocean cruise operations until May 1, 2020. Saga is suspending all its cruises from 15 March to 1 May.