Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival Corp. cancel cruises through the end of the year
Cruise Lines International Association, which represents 95% of the cruise industry, introduced mandatory requirements to be able to set sail again. USA TODAY
Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. and Framework for Conditional Sailing Order," which replaced the news release on the company's website. The cruise lines will reach out to affected passengers.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., which owns Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, has extended its cruising suspension through Dec. 31. Passengers with affected voyages should contact the cruise line or their travel adviser, the company said in a news release.
Likewise, Carnival Corp., which operates nine of the world's leading cruise lines, announced in a press release Monday that it will extend its operations pause for North American brands through Dec. 31. Cruise lines affected by this suspension include Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard North America, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn.
The companies had previously announced cruise suspensions through Nov. 30.
Though some cruises have restarted with new COVID-19 protocols in Asia and Europe, ocean cruises have yet to restart in U.S. waters and have been suspended since mid-March.
The cruise industry announced mandatory health and safety changes in September in preparation for a return to cruising.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the main cruise trade organization, and its members, which carry 95% of the world's oceangoing cruisers, adopted mandatory health protocols for vessels that can carry 250 or more passengers that include crew and passenger testing, mask wearing, enhanced cruise ship ventilation, stringent response procedures and shore excursion protocols.
CLIA worked with Royal Caribbean and Norwegian's "Healthy Sail Panel," other cruise lines and health experts and examined sailings with new protocols in place in Europe.
Richard Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, believes that the industry has found a way to move forward.
"We do believe it is possible to make it that you are safer on a cruise ship than you are on 'Main Street'," he said on the company's earnings call Thursday.
Contributing: Morgan Hines