CDC advances plan for resumption of U.S. passenger cruise operations

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has begun a key step for the eventual resumption of U.S. cruise industry operations by issuing new technical instructions.

In October, the CDC issued Conditional Sailing Order for operators, which acted as a guidance for a phased resumption of cruise ship passenger operations.

The CDC said on April 28 it was “committed” to the resumption of cruise industry passenger operations by mid-summer as it issued some clarifications of its earlier order.

The new guidance includes eligibility and requirements for conducting a trial voyage in preparation for restricted passenger voyages and for CDC cruise ships inspections during simulated and restricted passenger voyages.

The Cruise Lines International Association, which represents Carnival Corp (CCL.N), Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH.N) and Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL.N), said Wednesday it was reviewing the CDC’s latest instructions. The association said last week it was optimistic that CDC “clarifications show positive progression—and, importantly, a demonstrated commitment to constructive dialogue, which is key to restarting cruising.”

The group added “plenty of work remains in order to achieve our mutual goal of responsible resumption from U.S. ports this summer.”

Florida and Alaska have filed a lawsuit seeking to force the CDC to immediately allow the resumption of cruise operations.