The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has removed a travel advisory that was issued in September 2017. Cruise lines are already seeing the benefits of this change, with many booking more cruises than ever before.

The “CDC Guidelines for Cruise Travel 2022” is a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report has been removed in response to the cruise line’s request. Read more in detail here: cdc guidelines for cruises 2022.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States has totally deleted its cruise ship travel advisory warnings. The warning was originally set at Level 2, “moderate” danger, but the color-coded warning has now been removed from the COVID-19 cruise ship travel website.

Safe Operation of Cruise Ships

The elimination of this advisory warning demonstrates that cruise companies and individual ships are executing COVID-19 health and safety regulations efficiently. While instances have been documented aboard ships since U.S. cruise operations started in June 2021, cruise companies have moved fast to implement isolation and quarantine methods to prevent transmission and keep cruise passengers, crew members, and local port populations safe.

CDC Level 2 WarningCDC Level 2 Warning

The CDC downgraded the travel warning level from Level 3 – “High” – to Level 2 – “Moderate” barely two weeks ago.

“We look forward to the Travel Health Notice for cruise ships being removed as soon as possible,” the Cruise Lines International Association said at the time, “and for cruising to be recognized as setting a high bar for providing a vacation choice with a comprehensive set of science-backed protocols that span the entire cruise experience.”

The sudden decrease is unexpected, but it is in line with the rapidly declining case numbers and deaths throughout the United States. According to Worldometer, following the late-December spike fueled by the highly transmissible Omicron strain, both cases and fatalities have declined considerably. The current level is the lowest in the recent eight months.

The Cruise Lines React

Cruise lines have already started to react to this positive trend.

“We’re very happy to see that the CDC acknowledges that the Travel Health Notice website is no longer needed,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages, in a statement published shortly after the change. “We see this as a sign of the industry’s hard effort to guarantee that we’re providing the safest mode of transportation.” It’s wonderful to see them meet us where we are, and definitely where our customers are, given the recent surge in demand.”

Scarlet Lady at Virgin Voyages Miami TerminalVirgin Voyages provided this image.

Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady, Virgin Voyages’ first two ships, are now sailing, with Resilient Lady, the line’s third ship, set to launch in August.

Bookings for Virgin Voyages increased by approximately 120 percent from January to March of this year, indicating extraordinary demand. To now, March 2022 has been the busiest booking period for the new, adults-only cruise line.

Other cruise companies have reported a surge in demand for all sorts of cruises, from luxury cruises to family cruises to short weekend vacations.

Carnival Corporation said in its first quarter report that bookings are up 7.5 percent from the record-breaking 2019 season before the pandemic lockdown started, indicating that they are at their best level since the resumption of operations.

The revocation of the travel advice prompted Gus Antorcha, president of Carnival Corporation’s Holland America Line, to act immediately.

“The CDC’s decision to remove its health warning for cruise travel is a significant step forward in acknowledging the work we’ve done to safeguard our visitors,” Antorcha said. “At Holland America Line, we continue to run vaccinated cruises and have built a safe and healthy environment for our customers, our employees, and the communities we serve, ensuring that cruising is one of the safest forms of socializing and travel.”

How Does This Affect Cruising?

While cruise lines will continue to operate under their current health and safety protocols, such as pre-cruise testing, vaccination requirements, and improved sanitation for the time being, this new development will undoubtedly give them more flexibility in adapting their operations in the days and weeks ahead.

Cruise companies have already increased onboard capacity as the spring and summer seasons approach, with no significant increases in infection rates or aboard cases. Most cruise companies have made masks optional for vaccinated passengers, and other features of cruise holidays have progressively returned to pre-pandemic familiarity.

As more cruise lines respond to this positive shift, Cruise Hive will continue to update this post. Stay tuned for further information.

CDC Logo Sign

The “what are the new rules for cruise ships” is a question that has been asked by many travelers recently. The CDC has removed their travel advisory on cruise ships, and the cruise lines have reacted to it.

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