Have you ever looked at the other countries that are currently cruising and wondered why they’re allowed to cruise and we’re not? I’ve enlisted friends for this post from all over the world, so that we can get a perspective on why certain places are cruising, and the rest of us are waiting.
I’m in the UK and the situation in the UK is very similar to how it is in the US and in Australia. We’re not currently allowed to cruise.
How do Coronavirus Numbers Affect if a Country Can Cruise or Not?
If you have a look at the Coronavirus numbers here in the UK and for the US, you can kind of understand why we’re not currently cruising.
The numbers are not looking fantastic. If you have a look at places like Singapore, where the world Caribbean are restarting cruises, you can see why they feel comfortable with restarting cruises there, as they are incredibly low.
This could make you think that the more Coronavirus, the less cruises. That would make perfect sense, but it’s not as simple as that.
If you have a look of the Coronavirus numbers in places like Italy, the graphs are looking much more similar to us in the UK and the US, than a place like Singapore, but in Italy, they’re currently cruising.
So why can they cruise in Italy, in Germany and us in the UK, but the US can’t cruise?
When Will Cruises Resume in the USA?
There are currently no cruises sailing from the USA and no date when they will resume. The cruise market in the USA is controlled by the CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and prevention) and CLIA (the Cruise Lines International Association). Until both decide that cruising may start, the USA are unable to cruise.
In the US, it is almost half a million people’s jobs that rely on the cruise industry. And the cruise industry brings in around $53 billion. Yes, billions of dollars spent in the economy.
In the wider economy, $53 billion. That’s insane.
At the moment, it’s around 800 US jobs are being lost per day by the cruise industry being closed.
There’s a lot of people that say, “Fair enough, some people are getting Coronavirus and people are dying of Coronavirus in the US, but people are also dying because they’re losing their jobs, they can’t afford to keep their homes. It’s more than that. At the moment it is a very, very big problem.
I see a lot of people who pick on the cruise industry and they say, “Oh, well, cruising isn’t important. It’s just people having fun and spending their free money. It’s not life and death.” For lots of people, the cruise industry being closed is their livelihood closed.
It definitely feels like the US has been held back from cruising. I asked my friend, Tony from the La Lida Loca, why he thought that was, and this is his answer:
Here’s the quick breakdown of why there is no cruising currently in the Unites States, that goes all the way back to March where the US cruise companies, they decided they would voluntarily ban themselves from cruising. They did it before they were told that they had to do it.
That ban was extended all the way until October the 31st and then at the same time, there was an agency that was given power by the government to regulate cruising there. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention, the CDC. They were given the authority to say that you can’t cruise.
They had a cruise ban in place until October the 31st and now, all those things are gone.
The cruise companies here in the US decided they weren’t going to cruise in November and the CDC’s No Sail Order was replaced with a CDC Conditional Order.
Let’s look at it like this, until October the 31st, anybody that wanted to cruise, they were pushing against a brick wall, no ability to cruise at all and now we’re pushing against a very heavy door.
There’s a lot of things that have to happen for cruising to resume, to meet the approval of the CDC. Of course, we have to complicate things. We also have these maritime laws that say, we can’t just go cruising to nowhere, we have to go to a place.
So at the end of the day, we’re waiting to jump through some new hoops. We’re looking for places that we can cruise, and hopefully cruising will resume.
The timing’s good, as everywhere else in the world, the virus is wreaking havoc, numbers are spiking up high, and the hope is that over the next few months, as the cruise lines figure out how to meet these conditions, that they need to cruise, that we can flatten that curve, that the world will get back a little bit to normal, and that cruising can resume.
When Will Cruises Resume in the UK?
There are currently no cruises sailing from the UK and no date when they will resume. The cruise market in the UK is controlled by the UK government, who currently do not allow cruise travel.
Here in the UK things are very similar.
We’re not controlled by the CDC. The CDC is an American organization, but the government here in the UK has said that we should not cruise.
Their definition of a cruise is “cruise and travel means staying overnight for at least one night on a sea going cruise ship, with people from multiple households”. You can’t even do a very quick one night stay onboard on a cruise.
If you try and go on a cruise when the government of the country where you live says that you shouldn’t cruise, that will probably invalidate your travel insurance and you won’t be protected. I would strongly advise you do not cruise, if the government where you live says that you shouldn’t cruise.
While I’m on the subject, get your travel insurance. Don’t ever cruise without travel insurance.
Will we Start With British Isles Cruises From The UK?
I have no doubt that when we do start cruising, British Isles Cruises will be where we start because they are so easy.
British Isles Cruises are so much fun. I took one a few years ago, and it wasn’t the kind of cruise I’d ever considered doing.
I’m from the UK. I thought I’ve seen the UK. I would prefer to go somewhere else, get some sunshine, but I even had sunshine on my British Isles Cruise.
We went to Loch Ness, we went to Giant’s Causeway, it was so good. If ever you get the chance, take a British Isles Cruise and do it with Princess, that’s who I did it with and it amazing!
To learn more about British Isles cruises, check out this post:
When Will Cruises Resume in Australia?
There are currently no cruises sailing from Australia and no date when they will resume. The cruise market in the Australia is controlled by the Australian government who currently do not allow cruise travel.
Australia is something of a more puzzling case.
If we were to look at the Coronavirus numbers in Australia, it is almost nothing, but yet you can’t do internal Australia cruises.
It’s very strange to me that they’re not willing to start cruising. They’re kind of just saying no. No cruises from Australia.
Royal Caribbean has canceled some of their cruises, but they’re planning on starting in January. Princess has actually canceled all the way up until May next year. So they’re really not expecting to be able to cruise from Australia anytime soon.
Why Aren’t Australia Sailing Yet?
It may be something to do with getting the ships back to Australia and also getting crew.
Also Australia did have quite a lot of negative press at the start of this. The Ruby Princess situation was not as good for them and I don’t think Australia wants to just take any risks.
Who better to ask about Australian cruising than a real-life Australian. I’ve got one for you. His name is Chris and I asked Chris why he thought Australia was not cruising yet:
I think the Australian authorities are taking the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously and not only do we have a ban on internationally flagged cruise ships from coming into Australian ports, but our borders are also closed. So you can’t currently take an international cruise, but you also can’t fly internationally.
This means that if you’re coming into Australia from overseas, and you go straight into two weeks of mandatory quarantine in hotels, where they actually pick you up from the airport and put you straight into buses and take you to the hotel.
From a cruising perspective, there have been no big international cruise ships here throughout the pandemic. In fact, even the Australian P&O fleet, which was flagged in the UK, left Australian waters and went to lay up in the Philippines.
There are a few exceptions, you can cruise on locally flagged ships, now that restrictions are starting to ease here and so there’s a little ship for example, called the True North, which is going to be offering local cruisers out of Fremantle in Western Australia.
There are also river cruise options available as well. The flip side of this, of course, is that the majority of Australian States are in a really good place when it comes to COVID.
Some states haven’t had community transmission since April. So for those States, it’s an opportunity to really get back to a sense of normality in everything really, except for travel.
Why are Cruise Lines Nervous to Restart?
I think one thing that cruise lines are worried about, is that once they start cruising, they have to cruise and they have to cruise forever and if anything goes wrong, there’s nothing they can do about it and that’s just not true.
There’s no reason a cruise line can’t start cruising again and then if numbers go up or something happens and they need to cancel cruises, they can do that.
The German cruise line AIDA, have canceled their sailings in Germany. They’ve looked at the Coronavirus numbers, seeing that they’re going up in Germany and they have decided to cancel some voyages. There’s no reason that other cruise lines couldn’t do that.
Could You Buy a Fake Coronavirus Test to Get on a Cruise?
Some people have said that they would purchase fake Coronavirus tests in order to cruise. For this reason, it is important that cruise lines test their passengers at the port as well, as requiring an earlier test.
A friend of mine did raise an interesting point, which is something I’ve never thought about. It never crossed my mind. I don’t know if I’m just too naive to think about this, but in Singapore, they’re actually not testing people for Coronavirus at the cruise port.
What they’re asking people to do is to come with a negative test. I thought that’s no problem, especially if you look at the numbers in Singapore, they’re very, very low.
My friend John pointed out to me that you can buy negative Coronavirus tests, so that you could show that and you could get on the cruise.
To me, that’s just absolutely mind-blowing that anybody would do that, but it is worrying. I hadn’t thought about this before, but I would much prefer the cruise lines to make everybody get a test at the port.
Hopefully, the testing is going to get faster and it’s going to get cheaper. This would mean that it would be easier for cruise lines to test all guests at embarkation and possibly even onboard.