Royal Caribbean updates vaccination protocol for U.S. and European cruises

RCI halts sale of 7+ night sailings from U.S., Jan. 1 – Nov. 1, 2021

TORONTO — Royal Caribbean has reportedly halted the sale of cruises longer than 7 nights in duration, as it works to ensure its product offering is in compliance with the CDC’s framework for a Conditional Sailing Order.

Cruise industry blogs say that so far the move impacts sailings of more than 7 nights between Jan. 1, 2021 and Nov. 1, 2021 from U.S. ports.

Royal Caribbean Group’s suspension of operations currently applies to cruises departing on or before Dec. 31, 2020.

Royal Caribbean Group continues to work with NCLH as part of the Healthy Sail Panel, and Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain is one of the cruise industry’s biggest boosters throughout the pandemic.

The CDC lifted its No Sail Order on Oct. 30 and it put in its place a 40-page framework for a Conditional Sailing Order. The CDC’s announcement was seen by many in the industry as the light at the end of the tunnel, even if earlier this week the CDC issued a Level 4 travel notice for U.S. travellers, advising against all cruise travel on cruise and river cruise ships, worldwide. Level 4 is the CDC’s highest level.

On Nov. 20 Princess Cruises announced the cancellation of all cruises sailing through March 31, 2021, and all cruises longer than seven days sailing in and out of U.S. ports through November 1, 2021.

And on Nov. 23 Holland America Line also announced an extension to its temporary pause in operations, also through March 31, 2021 for all departures, with cruises of eight days or longer calling in the U.S. paused through Nov. 1, 2021.

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