August began with CLIA members and other major cruise lines announcing the extension of cruise suspensions through October 31, 2020, while UnCruise Adventures was forced to cancel its altered Alaska season due to a positive COVID-19 test. August also saw MSC Cruises return to service in the Mediterranean.
Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio introduced the Set Sail Safely Act in September with the goal of aiding the industry's safe return. Later, CLIA announced mandatory health protocols for the controlled resumption of sailings. The month ended with the CDC again extending the no-sail order, this time for an additional month through October 31, 2020.
While cruise lines began the month of October by scrapping more future sailings, they finally received some positive news at the end of the month, when the CDC announced that it would allow its no-sail order to expire on October 31. The key decision clears the way for a conditional, phased-in return to cruising.
Cruise lines, including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Carnival began November by announcing they would cancel North American sailings through the end of 2020 so that they could focus on meeting the conditions set forth by the CDC to ensure the safe resumption of sailing in 2021. CLIA also confirmed that its members would extend the voluntary suspension of cruise operations in the United States through December 31. With Seabourn and others seeing strong booking volume for future voyages, and volunteers lining up for test cruises, it would appear the cruise industry has put the worst behind it and can look forward to smoother sailing in the months to come.