Ok to Sail to Port Canaveral’s Cruises As Early As July
Melbourne, Fla.—The return of passenger-filled cruise ships sailing in U.S. waters is in sight after the CDC Director issued a No Sail Order for cruise ships effective March 14, 2020 due to the risk cruise ship travel introducing, transmitting, or spreading COVID-19. CDC commended the Cruise Lines International Association, the leading industry trade group, for their willingness to voluntarily suspend cruise ship operations from U.S. ports of call beginning on March 13, 2020 for the next thirty (30) days.
The cruise industry has been shut down since March 2020, when the CDC issued a no-sail order because of the COVID pandemic. The industry and local businesses that support it have been hit hard economically as a result. Now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved Carnival’s port agreement to sail from Port Canaveral. Port Canaveral is one of the first three home ports that Carnival is focusing on for its return to guest operations this summer, and they expect to be back in service in July, said a spokesperson. Test cruises are expected to start soon in June, although Royal Caribbean was first cruise line to receive CDC approval for a test sailing in US waters. The cruise line's Freedom of the Seas ship (typically Miami) will be allowed to sail with volunteer passengers. Vaccine requirements are not mandatory for test sailings per the CDC's Framework for Conditional Sailing Order.
On May 5, 2021, the CDC released the next two phases of the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) for cruise ships operating or seeking to operate in U.S. waters. CDC published technical instructions for cruise ship operators preparing to conduct simulated (“trial”) voyages in advance of restricted passenger voyages under a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate. With the issuance of these next two phases, cruise ship operators now have all the necessary requirements and recommendations they need to start simulated voyages before resuming restricted passenger voyages and apply for a COVID-19 conditional sailing certificate to begin sailing with restricted passenger voyages. CDC may adjust these requirements and recommendations based on public health considerations and other factors.
These are phenomenal news for transportation businesses in the area i.e. taxis, share ride, shuttle rides, limousines and many others. Over the past year, companies that shuttled people to and from Port Canaveral have suffered significant financial setbacks due to the lack of cruising from the Space Coast. The owners of shuttle services in Port Canaveral are hopeful that cruise ships will soon return, bringing with them the customers they depend on to survive.
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Hector is a licensed insurance agent with vast experience as a Transportation Specialist.
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