Cruise News Update: July 30, 2022
In this week’s cruise news update, we finally have the major cruise lines starting to relax the pre-cruise testing requirement. Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean made protocol changes, along with developments on itinerary changes, redeployments and the new Norwegian Cruise Line ship.
Cruise News Update
Full of major cruise news to catch up as Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean abandon pre-cruise testing on shorter sailings due to the CDC ending its voluntary program. We also have coverage on the delivery of Norway’s first Prima-class cruise ship, a major milestone in Holland America Line’s fleet, redeployments for four Royal Caribbean cruise ships and itinerary changes by Princess Cruises.
Royal Caribbean abandons tests on shorter cruises
We start with one of the biggest news of the week with Royal Caribbean announcing a modification of its testing requirements. Passengers sailing with Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea will not be required to present a negative test result from August 8.
The requirement will initially be waived for vaccinated passengers sailing on cruises of less than six nights. Passengers who have not been vaccinated and all passengers sailing on cruises of six nights and longer will still be required to provide proof of a negative test.
With the majority of cruises for Royal Caribbean International under six nights, the new requirement will have a significant impact on pre-cruise preparation for guests. The policy change is a direct result of the CDC end the COVID-19 program for cruise ships July 18, 2022.
Removing testing requirements will mean a massive boost for Royal Caribbean. Many people postpone their cruise plans due to the hassle of testing two days before a trip. The cruise line is releasing full details on newly updated protocols to guests booked the week of August 1, 2022.
Over the coming weeks and months, Royal Caribbean has also confirmed further relaxation of its protocols, including allowing unvaccinated passengers 12 and older to sail, but still committing that 80% of the capacity is fully vaccinated.
Royal Caribbean Deployment Changes
Royal Caribbean recently informed customers of several ship exchanges and redeployments for the 2023 and 2024 itineraries. These changes affect a total of four ships, with sailings in Alaska, Australia, Europe and the Caribbean.
The shine of the seas was to offer Mediterranean routes from May to November 2023, but these crossings will now be supported by Enchantment of the seas with similar routes and stops.
The shine of the seas will instead offer sailings to Alaska from Vancouver for the 2023 summer season, before moving to Australia in October. At this moment, Enchantment of the seas will return from Europe to resume the ship’s previously scheduled Caribbean itineraries from Tampa, Florida for fall 2023.
sea traveler was scheduled to sail from Fort Lauderdale and Port Canaveral in the fall of 2023, but those cruises have now been assigned to Adventure of the seas. Meanwhile, sea traveler will be redeployed to Galveston, Texas in May 2023.
The reason for these changes is due to the fact that the International Maritime Organization recently shared new speed regulations that the cruise line must follow, which will impact these ship deployments.
Norwegian Prima Delivery
In a ceremony at the shipyard in Marghera, Italy, Fincantieri officially handed over norwegian primathe first of six Prima Class ships, at Norwegian Cruise Line.
Delivery was slightly delayed. Earlier this year, Norwegian Cruise Line announced that the initial maiden voyage was to be canceled and pushed back to later this summer due to supply chain issues.
At 142,500 gross tons, with space for 3,215 passengers, the ship isn’t the largest in Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet; however, it is still packed with exciting and innovative features that put norwegian prima in a separate league.
Beginning in August, norwegian prima will be the first major cruise ship to be christened in Iceland, beginning its eight-day maiden voyage in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik on August 27, 2022, sailing to Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
After her maiden voyage, norwegian prima will depart from Amsterdam on September 3 to launch a series of 8-day trips to Copenhagen.
The ship will sail from Southampton to New York on September 23 and arrive in New York on October 5. norwegian prima will depart from New York, Miami and Port Canaveral while in the United States.
From December 2023, norwegian prima will be based in Galveston, Texas, sailing a series of 7-night Caribbean cruises to Harvest Caye, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico; and Roatan, Honduras.
A major milestone for Holland America Line
Holland America Line celebrated a special occasion on July 24, the first anniversary of returning to cruising and hitting more than 240 cruises over the past year.
The Seattle-based company has returned ten cruise ships to service, welcoming thousands of guests on board who have waited more than a year to depart.
New Amsterdam was the first Holland America Line ship to return on July 24 of last year, when it departed Seattle, Washington. The last ship to resume operations was the Westerdam on June 12, 2022.
Within 365 days since New Amsterdam started sailing again, Holland America Line has accumulated an impressive array of statistics on what has happened since then. The cruise line provides insight into the scale of operations that take place daily on board cruise ships.
242 cruises sailed, during which ships visited 169 different ports around the world and 122 glacier visits in Alaska. Ships traveled 502,565 nautical miles to these ports, which is enough to go to the Moon and back – two and a half times.
During the 242 cruises, the 12,287 crew members from 98 different countries managed to serve more than 6.5 million meals, more than 1.1 million beers and more than 3.2 million sodas, waters and juice.
Princess Cruises Itinerary Changes
Multiple Princess Cruises Alaska Itineraries for multiple vessels needs to be adjusted due to dock closure at Skagway. The White Pass & Yukon Route Railway, which has one of the largest wharves at the popular port of call, has determined a risk of a landslide on the wharf, requiring an immediate closure to protect cruise ships and visitors.
With the Railroad Dock now completely closed – the the second berth was closed early last month after a small rockslide that caused minor damage to Discovery Princess – The cruise line’s Royal-class ships, the largest in Princess Cruises’ fleet, will have to make itinerary adjustments.
While the schedules are still being developed, several current changes have already been adjusted. This included the July 23 departure of majestic princessa 14-night “Voyage of the Glaciers Grand Adventure” round-trip itinerary, which did not stop at Skagway on Tuesday, July 26. Instead, the ship visited Icy Strait Point.
Other tours of Skagway in July on royal princess, Discovery Princessand great princess have also been adjusted. More visits through August are also impacted.
Carnival Cruise Line removes testing for shorter sailings
With most major cruise lines having already introduced changes to their testing requirements after the end of the CDC program for US-based cruise ships, many people were waiting to see what Carnival Cruise Line would do.
Friday, Carnival has announced a series of protocol changes which will be presented in August. The most crucial difference is that passengers will no longer need to be tested if sailing on short cruise itineraries of 5 nights or less, starting August 4, 2022.
Also from August 4, passengers sailing on cruises of six nights and longer will still need to undergo testing, but Carnival Cruise Line has extended the time by which this must be done to three days before the cruise departs.
There will be no more terminal testing for customers who have not been fully vaccinated. Nonetheless, all unvaccinated guests, two years of age and older, must provide proof of a negative result from a laboratory-administered or supervised self-administered COVID antigen test performed within three days of boarding.
This means customers no longer need to provide a negative PCR test; instead, an antigen test will be sufficient. This change will have a huge impact on families traveling with unvaccinated children, particularly due to the expensive nature of PCR testing.
The cruise line is also talking about introducing other incremental changes in the future. This could mean the cruise line would consider dropping all testing requirements and possibly even vaccination mandates.
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So those were just a few of the stories from the past week, we have even more coverage, including some awesome number of cruise passengers for Mexicoa company Royal Caribbean updatenew routes announced by Princess Cruisesretail details for the new Carnival Partythe study shows the cruise industry should rebound, Game of Thrones Cruise and much more, it was just another busy week in the cruise industry.