By Michael Yazbeck
Going on a cruise enables people to travel across oceans, soaking up the sun, and reading books traveling back in time to an earlier era. Many people go on cruises for the enjoyment of being on vacation, while others go to see someplace new and for the isolation at sea. According to recent events, COVID-19 has been putting everything on hold in the cruise industry because the virus has shown to be so contagious and dangerous. Because of COVID-19, cruises temporarily suspended operations due to the virus spreading very quickly in large crowds in confined spaces. The year is already half over and while some parts of the world have seen a decline in COVID cases, that does not mean the threat is gone. So what does this mean for the cruise industry? Right now, traveling is restricted because of the pandemic, so let us take a look at what the cruise industry is doing during this time.
In an article from USA Today called “Exclusive: Cruise industry announces US sailing suspension extended until Sept. 15,” by Morgan Hines, it was mentioned that the cruise industry in the US have moved the suspension due to the threat of COVID-19. Of course, with a combination of people not heading CDC warnings and the high spreading of the virus, the suspension continues to be pushed farther away. This is concerning because the suspension may be further extended if cases are still on the rise, and cruises tend to have large crowds so it would not be a good idea to allow the virus to spread dangerously within a large group.
An example of how one small cruise line, Silversea, has taken precautions to prevent the virus from spreading. The cruise line staff has decided to suspend operations through the summer and the fall of this year, and allow travelers to cancel their travel plans with refunds. Larger cruise lines such as Norweigan Cruise Line will suffer delays all the way into the fall. Arguably large cruise lines have it worse because their capacity is greater and that would make the virus’ job much easier to spread in large groups. But either way, cruise lines large or small are taking this very seriously to contain the spread of COVID-19.
So when can you go on another cruise? We are not sure because planning to go on a cruise is still up in the air. Some cruise lines are offering “peace of mind” incentives – see Norweigan Cruise Lines.
Just because there is a suspension does not mean the suspension will be lifted as planned. The troubling news is that COVID-19 is still lingering on, and as long as that threat remains present, planning for cruise trips becomes an afterthought. Having cruise lines shut down due to the pandemic hurts because it heavily restricts travel for those who want an escape from their daily lives. The concern should be on keeping people safe from COVID-19. Perhaps at some point cases will see a massive decline. For the time being, the threat of COVID-19 needs to be dealt with first before travelers can resume booking their vacations again.
For more information see:
Hines, Morgan. “Exclusive: Cruise Industry Announces US Sailing Suspension Extended until Sept. 15.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 19 June 2020, . Sloan, Gene.
More Major Cruise Lines Cancel Sailings into October.” The Points Guy, The Points Guy, 16 June 2020
“Coronavirus: Updated Cruise Ship Policies and Cancellations.” Cruise Reviews, Cruise Deals and Cruises – Cruise Critic, 17 June 2020, .
Michael Yazbeck graduated Umass Boston in the spring of 2019, with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and concentration in Professional Writing.