The extension follows the release of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “framework for conditional sailing order,” which replaced the Centers’ No Sail Order at the beginning of this month. The framework allows cruise lines to phase in operations at different speeds based on their success at implementing public health and safety measures. That includes testing crew; simulating voyages to test the operator’s ability to mitigate COVID-19 risks onboard; and achieving certifications for ships.
The Santa Clarita cruise line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., said pausing until March 31 will give the company enough time to complete those requirements.
Also, Princess cancelled all cruises longer than seven days that sail in or out of any U.S. port through Nov. 1 of next year – an effort to keep compliant with the CDC’s seven-day cap on itineraries that include U.S. ports. The CDC’s current guidance around pandemic-time cruising expires Nov. 1, 2021.
Princess added it has extended its pause for cruises departing and arriving in Japan through June 25, citing uncertainty about international travel restrictions.
“We are focused on preparing our ships to meet the CDC health and safety requirements for our eventual return to service,” Princess President Jan Swartz, said in a statement. “We also appreciate the continued support we have received from our guests, partners and travel advisors.”