July 23, 2020
(Updated 5:37 p.m. EDT) -- With ocean and river cruise lines temporarily suspending service around the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping track of the seemingly minute-by-minute changes to the cruise industry can be challenging.
Most cruise lines voluntarily paused sailings for the meantime after being faced with port closures; a lack of suitable infrastructure, including flights; and increased travel restrictions that change on a country-by-country basis. CLIA,the Cruise Lines International Association that represents most cruise lines, issued a further volunatary suspension in operations through September 15.
Adding to voluntary suspen
(10:40 a.m. EDT) -- The German cruise line AIDA canceled its planned resumption of service this weekend over an approval technicality.
The line, which is owned by Carnival Corporation & plc., has implemented new health and testing protocols that had caught 10 crew members who were positive for COVID-19 after they boarded two AIDA ships but before any passengers came aboard.
The hold-up for AIDAperla and AIDAmar, leaving on short cruises August 5 and August 12, though, came because the country of Italy, where the ships are flagged, had not given approval for the ships to sail, the company said in a release.
"Contrary to our expectations, the final formal approval for the start of th
(12:05 p.m. EDT) -- Following the implementation of new health and safety protocols, MSC Cruises is planning a two-ship restart in the Mediterranean this month for European residents only, followed by a larger restart of 14 vessels on October 31, 2020.
The potential summer restart would see MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica welcome Schengen (EU) residents on voyages to the Mediterranean. MSC is still awaiting approval of these voyages, which would run one week in duration. Ports would include Greece and Malta, where MSC notes that cruises have officially been welcomed, and countries have reviewed, and support, MSC's safety protocols and restart of operations.
MSC notes these itineraries
(Updated 5:31 p.m. EDT) -- Cruise lines have temporarily suspended operations worldwide and altered future sailings in globally as the novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) continues to spread.
In January, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, following an emergency committee meeting in Geneva. On March 11, WHO declared the outbreak a worldwide pandemic.
In additon, a number of ports throughout the world and the Caribbean are barring ships from docking.
The U.S. State Department has issued a Global Level 4 "do not travel" health advisory for travel abroad. The U.K.'s Foreign & Commonw
(Updated 5:28 p.m. EDT) -- Just two days after the first ship of the season set sail in Alaska, the state has announced sweeping new changes to its COVID-19 testing policy for out-of-state visitors that could dramatically curb tourism there.
Starting on Tuesday, August 11 -- eight days from now -- the State of Alaska will begin requiring all non-resident travelers to take and pass a COVID-19 test within 72 hours before they arrive.
Previously, the State of Alaska allowed travelers to be tested at the airport for COVID-19; to obtain a COVID-negative molecular PCR test up to five days prior to arrival; or to quarantine upon arrival. Those options will now be eliminated as
(10 a.m. EDT) -- The international cruise industry took a step back this weekend, as two lines that had restarted operations reported COVID-19 outbreaks among passengers and crew.
Both lines -- Hurtigruten in Norway and Paul Gauguin in French Polynesia -- had restarted operations with clearly laid out health and safety guidelines for passengers and crew.
Hurtigruten has suspended all expedition sailings that were planned on three of its ships -- Roald Amundsen, Fridtjof Nansen and MS Spitsbergen.
The outbreaks show that much is still unknown about COVID-19 and the best way to prevent the disease from spreading, particularly among asymptomatic individuals and groups living together i