The CDC is currently investigating 38 ships, with 48 additional vessels having already undergone investigation but remaining “under observation.” Another 22 ships haven’t reported any cases. Three ships reported COVID-19 cases below the investigation threshold.
The most affected cruise ships belong to Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney, and Norwegian.
“While cruising will always pose some risk of COVID-19 transmission, CDC is committed to working with cruise ship operators to ensure that cruise ship passenger operations are conducted in a way that reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission among crew members, passengers, and port personnel,” the CDC stated on its website.
The CDC’s investigation threshold for restricted voyages is 0.10 percent or more of reported COVID-19 cases in passengers or one or more cases reported in the crew. A restricted voyage is a cruise with a CDC-issued Conditional Sailing Certificate and paying passengers.
In late October 2020, after shutting down all cruises for seven months, the CDC issued the Conditional Sail Order, which imposes a series of strict conditions that cruise lines must meet to resume operations.
The order requires 95 percent of passengers and nearly all crew to be vaccinated, in combination with testing, mask-wearing, sanitation, and more.
However, a growing number of cruise ships have reported COVID-19 outbreaks during the past few weeks, despite the extremely high vaccination rate. Some cruises have been denied disembarking passengers and some have been forced to alter stops.