Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian Cancel Cruises Amid Omicron Spread At Sea

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Cruise ships could resume sailing from Florida ports in mid-July
Cruise ships could resume sailing from Florida ports in mid-July AFP / Daniel SLIM

Several cruise lines have announced that they are canceling or postponing sailings into April as the Omicron variant continues to spread and infect thousands of people around the world.

Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Celebrity Cruises have canceled or delayed a combined 21 cruises amid a series of outbreaks that have occurred aboard nearly all cruise ships sailing in U.S. waters, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC has placed cruise ships in its “very high” risk travel category, warning even fully vaccinated Americans to avoid taking cruises.

“The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters on board ships, and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose,” the CDC said its Level 4 warning notice.

Due to the outbreaks onboard several ships, several ports have prevented vessels from disembarking at ports, causing major disruptions in service to the cruise industry.

According to Business Insider, almost 250 cruises were slated to set sail globally in the first month of 2022.

Both Norwegian and Royal Caribbean have cited the travel restrictions or COVID outbreaks as the reason for their cruise postponements.

Norwegian announced in early January that it was postponing 12 sailings, as reported by Business Insider, including:

  • Norwegian Pearl — postponed through Jan. 17
  • Norwegian Dawn — postponed through Jan. 18
  • Norwegian Getaway — postponed through Jan. 19
  • Norwegian Escape — postponed through Jan. 22
  • Norwegian Joy — postponed through Jan. 22
  • Norwegian Breakaway — postponed through Jan. 23
  • Norwegian Sky — postponed through Feb. 25
  • Pride of America — postponed through Feb. 26
  • Norwegian Jade — postponed through March 3
  • Norwegian Star — postponed through March 19
  • Norwegian Sun — postponed through April 19
  • Norwegian Spirit — postponed through April 23

Royal Caribbean also postponed sailings through March, citing “ongoing COVID-related circumstances,” including:

  • Independence of the Seas — postponed until Jan. 22
  • Symphony of the Seas — postponed until Jan. 29
  • Jewel of the Seas — postponed until Feb. 20
  • Serenade of the Seas — postponed until April 26
  • Vision of the Seas — postponed until March 7

Celebrity Cruises canceled four Pacific Coast cruises from March 26 to April 16, as “part of our continuous review of our operating plans as we return to service,” as reported by USA Today, including:

  • March 26 sailing
  • April 2 sailing
  • April 9 sailing
  • April 16 sailing

Passengers on the canceled sailings have been offered a 100% refund or the options of a “lift and shift” to a coastal sailing aboard the Celebrity Millennium, USA Today said.


Cruise ship

Photo: AFP / Daniel SLIM

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