Clia’s global chair has predicted sailings in the US could operate “fairly robustly” by the summer and stressed the UK government is working productively with the industry despite current Foreign Office advice.
Adam Goldstein said the cruise association had faced “quite diverse decisions” from governments across the world over when and how cruise travel should resume.
Authorities in Europe had allowed the sector to “move forward in a productive way” while in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had presented “a complex process” after replacing its no sail order in October.
“We’re still waiting for certain elements and details from them [around restart proposals] which we will expect to receive in the near future,” Goldstein told Clia UK’s virtual showcase.
He admitted earlier in the year lines had been hopeful for a resumption before Christmas, although stressed: “the main point we need to emphasise is we will cruise when it is safe and appropriate”.
“Nobody knows the timings [for restarting]. Most cruise companies are paused until the end of February. In an optimistic but hopefully realistic case – by mid-summer operating cruises fairly robustly but there are no guarantees.”
Discussing the resumption of cruises to and from the UK, Goldstein admitted it was “disappointing” that the Foreign Office’s advice against ocean cruising, which came into force in July “continues to be as severe as it is”.
“Nobody who is in the cruise community wants to be so singled out in this way.”
He said Clia would “value the opportunity to convey as directly to them [the FCDO] as possible the learnings that have been done and the protocols that have been put in place”.
However he stressed the association and industry had “worked very well with other elements of the UK government” leading to the UK’s restart framework published by the UK Chamber of Shipping at the start of October.
“I don’t want to obsess exclusively on the FCDO because a considerable portion of the UK government is engaged very productively with the cruise industry in the UK and hopefully that is a sign of better things to come,” he said.