Halloween will have come and gone before Americans can cruise again. Even though the industry had hoped to be in the water by early fall, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced that the industry has agreed to extend its operational pause through at least Oct. 31.
Previously, the industry had agreed to a pause until Sept. 15, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had extended its own No Sail Order until at least Sept. 30.
“This is a difficult decision as we recognize the crushing impact that this pandemic has had on our community and every other industry. However, we believe this proactive action further demonstrates the cruise industry’s commitment to public health and willingness to voluntarily suspend operations in the interest of public health and safety, as has occurred twice prior,” said CLIA in a statement.
Following the announcement, Carnival Cruise Line, which is owned and operated by Carnival Corp, the largest cruise brand in the world, released its own announcement offering an “enhanced value package” of future credit or a full refund for guests who had booked trips this September or October.
During the brand’s earnings call, Carnival said that move could lead it to burn through $650 million by the end of 2020. In a bright spot, more than 60% of bookings made for 2021 were new, rather than travelers applying their credit from previous cruises.
In a fit of optimism back in May, Carnival had aimed to resume cruises in the first week of August. Now, the industry hopes that it’ll be able to serve travelers by the winter holiday season.