Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) ocean-going cruise lines will be voluntarily and temporarily suspending cruise ship operations from and to U.S. ports of call for 30 days as public health officials and the U.S. Government continue to address COVID-19.
“This is an unprecedented situation,” Kelly Craighead, president and CEO, CLIA, said in a statement. “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 (CDC), 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.”
Adam Goldstein, CLIA Global Chairman, adds: “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. 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 supports 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.
The temporary suspension took effect at midnight on March 14. Guests who are booked on cruise itineraries that are affected by this decision are encouraged to contact their travel advisors.