Norwegian lines extend cruise suspension until Jan. 1

The world’s third largest cruise company said Monday it will not resume sailing at least through Dec. 31.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. issued a press release saying its three brands — Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises — would extend its current suspension from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31.

On Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control lifted a ban in place since mid-March that prohibited passenger sailings in U.S. waters. Lines will first have to follow a series of complex protocols — some suggested by the lines themselves — to protect both passengers and crew. Those include passenger and crew testing, trial sailings proving the new measures are effective, and agreements with ports regarding land-based medical care.

In its Monday statement, Norwegian said it would “continue to work in tandem with global government and public health authorities and its [own health] expert advisors to take all necessary measures to protect its guests, crew and the communities visited.”

Cruise lines have not yet announced what type of COVID tests they expect to use.

Most major cruise companies are headquartered in Miami, home of the world’s busiest cruise port. Carnival Corp., parent of nine cruise brands, and Royal Caribbean, parent of four cruise brands, have previously said they would not resume cruising before Dec. 1.

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Jane Wooldridge, an award-winning journalist and Miami Herald veteran, oversees coverage of real estate, economy, urban development, tourism, cruises, visual arts and Art Basel. She is president of the Society of American Travel Writers. Find her on Instagram @JaneWooldridge.

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