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COVID-19 Updates for 2021 Cruise Season

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Bookmark this page to follow ongoing updates for the 2021 cruise season at the Port of Seattle.

Cruise line contact information

COVID-19 Travel Advisories for Cruise Lines:

 

 

Thursday, February 4

Canada’s transport ministry announced an extended suspension of cruise operations in their waters through February 2022 due to continued concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.  We respect the decision by the Canadian government to continue the suspension.  This may affect our 2021 cruise schedule, as under federal law cruise vessels must stop at a Canadian port on their Alaska itineraries.  There remains a possibility of a limited cruise season in Seattle this year.  We are working with our cruise line customers on updates to the schedule. Nonetheless, the health and safety of our community comes first, and we await further guidance from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC).  We will continue working closely with federal and local officials and our industry partners to implement the latest health and safety requirements to support a safe return of cruise.  When it is safe to cruise, Seattle will be ready.

Thursday, January 21

The cruise 2021 schedule remains in great flux as cruise lines adjust their procedures to meet new United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) Requirements. In October 2020, the CDC provided guidance on steps cruise lines and ports need to take to safely resume cruise. The Port welcomed these new requirements, some of which reflected input we provided to them at the time. When adopted, these measures will make up some of the most robust health protections we have observed in any travel industry. 

Cruise lines are actively working to implement these health measures to meet the new CDC standards. As a result, many cruise lines are extending their no-sail periods to provide more time for planning and provisional sailings. The Port will rely on cruise lines to best determine when they are ready to resume their schedules as long as they are approved by the CDC with the engagement of local health organizations. 

In light of this, we expect the cruise season to start more slowly and later than usual this year. Normally our season begins with ships arriving to the Pacific Northwest in April, with our season hitting its full stride by May and June. Right now, berth reservations are in flux, making a firm schedule of sailings difficult to predict. 

Cruise is an important part of Seattle's economic recovery and we will continue to coordinate with local and state public health agencies as we prepare for our next cruise season. 

 

Tuesday, November 3

On October 30, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lifted its "No Sail" order for cruise ships in favor of a "Conditional Sailing" order and will be working with the industry on a phased-in return to service. The phased-in approach will include: (1) establishment of laboratory testing of crew onboard cruise ships in U.S. waters; (2) 15 simulated voyages designed to test a cruise ship operator's ability to mitigate COVID-19 on cruise ships; (3) a certification process; and (4) a return to passenger voyages in a manner that mitigates the risk of COVID-19 introduction, transmission, or spread among passengers and crew onboard ships and ashore to communities. 

These phases will be further determined based on public health considerations including the trajectory of COVID-19 transmission and the demonstrated ability of cruise ship operators to successfully employ measures that mitigate the risk of COVID-19.

The Port of Seattle strongly supports federal standards to ensure safety for communities, employees, and passengers. We look forward to reviewing the CDC order in detail as our first priority is to protect the health of our guests, our workers, and the community. Cruise is an important part of Seattle's economic recovery and we will continue to coordinate with local and state public health agencies as we prepare for next year's cruise season. Cruise lines and their partners are prepared to implement multiple layers of protocols informed by the latest scientific and medical knowledge. With the Seattle cruise season typically beginning in April, we will be keeping a close eye on other cruise markets as they resume voyages in the coming months to confirm that appropriate health protocols are in place to protect passengers at our terminals before the cruise season begins. We have also been advocating for federal standards in aviation, and we have submitted responses to the CDC's prior Request for Information regarding our work in supporting the need for federal standards for cruise. 

 

Monday, September 21

The Port of Seattle responded to a Request for Information (RFI) from the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, providing information pertaining to the safe restart of cruise operations. The Port provided its responses to the CDC as part of our effort to support the safety of the port workforce, crewmembers, passengers, and our communities.

 

See updates from the 2020 cruise season here

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