A Message from Bill & Leslie Kraus,
Owners of Cruise Club of America
Cruise Club of America has obtained the following CDC information related to the resumption of cruise operations in the United States by mid-summer. While there is still much to do to make this a reality, we promise to keep you updated! Below is the full transcript from the CDC.

Over the past month, senior leadership from CDC has met twice-weekly with representatives from cruise lines to discuss the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO). Within these meetings, participants asked questions and discussed the fastest path back to sailing without compromising safety. Today, in response to the industry’s feedback, CDC announced five key clarifications with the existing CSO framework.

  1. Vaccinations: Ships may now bypass simulated voyages and move directly to open water sailing with passengers if a ship attests that 98 percent of its crew and 95 percent of its passengers are fully vaccinated.
  2. 60 Day Waiting Period: CDC announced that it would review and respond to applications for simulated voyages within 5 days, down from the anticipated 60-day waiting period. This puts cruise ships closer to open water sailing sooner.
  3. Testing: CDC will update its testing and quarantine requirements for passengers and crew to closely align with CDC’s guidance for fully vaccinated persons. Fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to undergo NAAT testing, they may now take a simple viral test (NAA or antigen) upon embarkation. This testing change is for the restricted revenue sailings in Phase 4 of the CSO.
  4. Port Agreements: CDC clarified that cruise ship operators may enter into a multi-port agreement (as opposed to a single port agreement) provided that relevant port and local health authorities are signatories to the agreement. Such multi-port agreements may be particularly suitable if one port has limited medical or housing capacity and a nearby port is able to supplement these capacities.
  5. Quarantine Housing: CDC clarified guidance on ventilation systems and the ability for local passengers to quarantine at home if they are within driving distance.

The CDC remains committed to the resumption of passenger operations in the United States following the requirements in the CSO by mid-summer, which aligns with the goals announced by many major cruise lines and travelers. CDC looks forward to continued engagement with the industry and urges cruise lines to submit Phase 2A port agreements as soon as possible to maintain the timeline of passenger voyages by mid-July.

Bill & Leslie Kraus