As travel slowly opens in the Caribbean for leisurely travel, cruise tourism comes next in line for consideration. Nevertheless, the no sail order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remains in place. The CDC has issued a no-sail order for cruise ships operating in U.S. waters, currently extended through to September 30, 2020. With September around the corner, many may be wondering what Caribbean countries will be accepting cruise ships this year.
With cruise lines already suspending operations in the United States until November, there is now another setback with one of the most popular western Caribbean cruise ports. According to a report by the Cayman Compass, the Cayman Islands government is extending its ban on cruise ships. Having not had any new cases since July 13, 2020, Grand Cayman is understandably wary of creating a situation where imported cases might change that.
Grand Cayman’s acting Port Authority Director Joseph Woods has confirmed that the current ban on cruise ships will be extended to December 31, 2020. This follows the previous extension through October 1, 2020.
Letter states: “I wish to inform you that after careful consideration, the Cayman Islands Government has [made] the decision that [in response to the current health crisis], it cannot allow the resumption of cruise tourism in the Cayman Islands for the immediate future. The Cayman Islands will therefore be closed for cruise tourism until the 31st December 2020. ”
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When will Belize open for Cruise Tourism?
In Belize, Cruise Tourism is listed as its last phase, Phase 5, in its Travel Reopening Plan. With the postponed reopening of Belize’s international airport (Phase 3) announced August 5, there has been no rescheduled date given. Belize’s international airport, land borders and smaller ports of entry come ahead of cruise tourism; given that timeline, there is no certainty for a return date of cruise tourism to Belize.
Nonetheless, Belize is listed on Carnival’s November 2020 Itinerary
Despite no set date for Belize reopening, cruise providers like Carnival continue to list Belize on their 2020 itinerary. Furthermore, Carnival Cruise Line’s website lists Belize on more than one package. Carnival Vista, for example, shows a sailing date as early as November 7th, 2020; route leaves Galveston with stops to Montego Bay, Belize City and Cozumel. Carnival Legend is also showing a departure three weeks later with a sailing date on November 29, 2020; route leaves Tampa with stops in Grand Cayman, Mahogany Bay, Belize City and Cozumel.
All in all, the CDC currently does not have enough information to say when it’ll be safe for cruise lines to resume service.