The UK’s current situation where a return to cruising is imminent for domestic travelers has sparked a flurry of questions in the U.S. from people in congress, governors, and mayor of cities dependant on the cruise industry. Let alone a general surprise that cruising is not a discussion point yet for the CDC in the US.
As it stands now, the decision by the CDC to keep the Conditional Sailing Order active towards the day it is set to expire, November 1, has forced several cruise lines within the cruise industry to set its focus towards new homeports, relocate vessels to new ports, and look for options outside the US to be able to survive.
This does not only cause problems for the cruise industry; in fact, millions of people depend on the cruise industry for their jobs and income, while 300.000 jobs have already been lost.
A July Start Date Needs Action Now!
Since the start of March, cruise lines have been busy preparing to start cruising in June in the UK. As it looks, there is a 90-day period the ships need to go from their cold- or warm lay-up status to be being fully operational once again.
Systems that have not been in use for over a year will need to be started up again, machinery will need servicing, crew members will need to be flown or sailed in, and crew members will need extensive training.
Also, vaccinations will need to be complete for most crew members on most ships, and ships will need provisioning.
These are just a few of the steps the cruise lines will need to take before a cruise can depart. If ships are to sail in the U.S. in July, which seems to be the more logical option now President Biden has announced a re-opening of tourism in the States. A lot needs to happen, though, and it needs to happen now.
The most important thing that needs to happen is pressure on the CDC to start viewing the cruise industry as a vital part of the economy.
That pressure comes from senators, governors, and other representatives in your area. This is why CLIA has started an action page where you can write your representative to let your voice be heard!
A Strong Message of Support For The Cruise Lines Will Help!
The message from CLIA has already been written up for you on their site and reads as follows:
I ask for your support in urging the Biden Administration to lift the CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) and allow cruises to resume from US ports by the beginning of July.
The CSO, issued last October, reflects thinking from a very different time in the course of the pandemic and should be lifted to support resumption by July. Cruise is the only industry prohibited by the US Government from operating, even as the industry has proven capable of doing so responsibly.
Since last summer, nearly 400,000 passengers have sailed in Europe and parts of Asia, with fewer than 50 confirmed cases based on public reporting. A far lower incidence than on land.
The year-long suspension of cruising in the US has resulted in a loss of $39 billion and over 300,000 American jobs across multiple sectors, including port services, industry suppliers, hotels, travel advisors, airlines, and beyond. The CSO should be lifted as soon as possible to revive these American jobs and allow sailing from US ports, with proven measures in place, by July.
Thank you for your support of this important issue.
Want To Voice Your Support?
Please take a moment to call, email, or tweet your Senators and US Representatives and let them know you want cruising to be treated like other travel and tourism segments and resumed in the US by July 2021!
Your support is vital to bring cruises back. It is not just for the cruise lines and the thousands of crew members who have been waiting at home for over a year.
But also for the retail outlets, the hotels, the farmers growing food for the cruise ships, the airlines that are now missing vital income and are laying people off. 300,000 American jobs have been lost!
With 400,000 passengers in the last months across Europe and Asia, the cruise industry has shown it is indeed safe to sail. It should be time for the CDC and other government officials to see it the same way.
Main Photo Credit: Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock