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Carnival CEO very disappointed with US CDC guidance

April 9, 2021 Cruise News, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

Although Aussies cannot cruise overseas yet, as many of our subscribers are aware, Carnival Corporate has a significant Australian based operation with P&O Australia, Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises and other visiting vessels, but according to a Cruise Industry News report, Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald has said he was “very disappointed” in the CDC’s guidance released totalling seven pages last week listed below.

CDC says that guidelines represent a pathway for cruise lines to operate again in the United States, although with significant logistical hurdles “designed to minimize the burden to the greatest extent possible on Federal, State, and Local government resources”, with the CDC asking cruise lines to demonstrate they can handle a COVID-19 incident themselves, from a quarantine, healthcare and transportation standpoint, with one major issues being that the CDC did not mention a date of when ships could sail, or begin trial voyages.

It is not known whether the Australian Federal and State Governments will emulate the CDC guidance in any way, but for certain it is thought they will review it and in case they do emulate the CDC guidance, it is very worthwhile reading and considering.

Key Takeaways from the CDC Guidance:-

  • The CDC recommended in its regulations that all port personnel, and travellers (passengers and crew) receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • A cruise ship operator must document the approval of all U.S. port and local health authorities where the ship intends to dock or make port during one or more simulated voyages or restricted passenger voyages as a condition of receiving or retaining controlled free pratique for conducting one or more simulated voyages or receiving and retaining a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate.
  • The agreement must include a port operations component (including a vaccination component), a medical care plan component, and a housing component meeting the requirements.
  • The CDC will require a presentation of proposals regarding how the cruise ship operator intends to incorporate vaccination strategies to maximally protect passengers and crew from introduction, amplification, and spread of COVID-19 in the maritime environment and land-based communities.
  • The CDC is requiring significant embarkation screening and onboard protocols, including medical evacuation at sea for COVID-19 reasons. Protocols must rely on commercial resources (e.g., ship tender, chartered standby vessel, chartered airlift) for unavoidable medical evacuation at sea and be designed to minimize the burden to the greatest extent possible on Federal, State, and Local government resources, including U.S. Coast Guard resources. All medical evacuations at sea must be coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • The regulations also require significant disembarkation protocols should there be an outbreak.
  • A cruise ship operator’s agreement with all U.S. port and local health authorities where the ship intends to dock or make port during one or more simulated voyages or restricted passenger voyages must incorporate medical care agreements between the cruise ship operator and health care entities, addressing evacuation and medical transport to onshore hospitals for passengers or crew in need of care, in accordance with CDC technical instructions and orders.
  • Cruise lines must also consider the potential medical care needs of travellers including the capacity of local public health, port authority, hospital, and other emergency response personnel to respond to an onboard outbreak of COVID-19. Cruise lines must explain the factors relied upon by all parties in determining the capacity of the cruise ship operator’s contractual shoreside medical facilities or healthcare systems
  • The agreement must consider where the ship will be physically located during the isolation and quarantine period (i.e., at the pier or at anchor). The parties to the agreement must jointly consider the potential housing needs of travellers including the capacity of local public health, port authorities, hospital, and other emergency response personnel to oversee and monitor the housing needs of travellers under isolation and quarantine. The agreement must briefly explain the factors relied upon by all parties in determining the sufficiency of the cruise ship operator’s contractual or corporate-owned shoreside housing facilities.
  • Any shoreside housing must meet CDC guidelines.

In the meantime, Donald mentioned the company has 30 ships in U.S. waters that have achieved “green status” per CDC guidelines, and that the company was continuing to work with the agency and current administration to find practical approaches to resume cruising in a way that is in the best interest of public health.

He said he aimed to have all nine Carnival Corporation brands sailing this summer and that ships will come back on a staggered basis with occupancy rates ramping up over time.

Donald noted an acceleration of booking trends globally, with an AIDA ship sailing the Canaries and restarts set in the UK and Italy shortly.

Donald was also quick to note 59 of 90 of the company’s ships were outside of the Conditional Sail Order, and restarts were being worked on in Asia and Australia.

In the meantime, the Australian Federal and State Governments in Australia have still not released any formal requirements or timings for cruising restarting in Australia for larger vessels, with the cruise sector continuing to haemorrhage money and becoming increasingly frustrated.

An edited report by John Alwyn-Jones, Cruise Editor

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. gnits says:

    ….emergency evacuation at sea is a coast guard duty too… why can’t the us government just bill the cruise ship for this instead. like everyone else…

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