“CDC recommends that all people avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide, because the risk of Covid-19 on cruise ships is very high,” the CDC wrote in a statement, “It is especially important that people with an increased risk of severe illness avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises.”
For those that do decide to travel onboard cruises, the CDC advised getting tested three to five days after the trip and staying home for seven days after travelling – even if they test negative. Those that don’t get tested should stay home and quarantine for 14 days after travel.
Impact on the worldwide cruising industry
Both the World Tourism Organization the International Maritime Organization issued a call to make the recovery of the cruise industry a top priority, but the CDC’s latest advice will likely deter travellers from jumping onboard cruise ships. And while the CDC’s warning is for US citizens only, this news may still impact traveller confidence further afield. Over in Singapore, for example, ‘cruise to nowhere’ voyages are soon due to commence onboard both Dream Cruises and Royal Caribbean vessels. Will prospective travellers be swayed by the official guidance from the US authority?
Still, a glimmer of hope remains – Viking Cruises has recently integrated a Covid-19 testing facility onboard the decks of its Viking Star ship, and moves like this could go some way to helping customers feel more at ease and confident in cruise travel.