Cruise giants Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean have, after a long hiatus from the pandemic, put in place formal plans to resume travel from a US port in July or August.
The Norwegian said in a statement on Monday that its first cruise departing from a city in the United States since this type of tourism was suspended by US authorities in March 2020 will depart from Seattle on August 7, and will be reserved for fully vaccinated passengers.
Carnival had already indicated Friday that its three subsidiaries, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line, are planning to resume flights between Seattle and Alaska from July 24.
Royal Caribbean announced the same day that its flights between Seattle and Alaska would resume in July.
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the nation’s main federal public health agency, issued new rules in early May to allow cruise passengers to return to sea under strict conditions.
To promote tourism in Alaska, a law requiring foreign registered ships to stop in a country other than the United States between two US ports has been repealed temporarily. For Alaska cruises, this meant ships were taking a break in Canada, which banned their cruises until February 2022.
“We have waited a very long time to be able to announce the resumption of cruises departing from the United States,” Harry Sommer, Director General of Norwegian Cruise Lines, said in the statement.
Vaccination against COVID-19 will also be mandatory on Carnival cruises and Royal Caribbean trips to Alaska, with Royal Caribbean specifying that this obligation will apply to people over the age of 12 as of August 1.
Cruise lines have yet to clarify what will happen with ships departing from other regions.
The CDC recommends that everyone on cruise ships, passengers, and employees be vaccinated.
The governor of Florida, where many cruises leave for the United States, issued an executive order in April barring companies from requiring their customers to show evidence of immunization against the virus.
Carnival said Friday that its Carnival Cruise Line company is still finalizing plans for cruises that will depart in July from Miami, Florida, and Galveston, Texas.