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CDC Raises Cruise Travel Warning As More Lines Delay Sailing Dates

Three Carnival Corporation cruise lines will extend their sailing cancellations until 2021
Three Carnival cruise lines will extend their sailing cancellations until 2021

The CDC recommends that travelers avoid cruise ships around the world, given the “very high” risk of becoming infected or spreading coronavirus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its highest warningwhen it comes to traveling on cruise ships worldwide. The advisory comes as the Carnival Corp. - which operates cruise ships out of Tampa - announces more delays in returning to sea.

The Level 4 warning from the CDC states the risk of contracting COVID-19 on cruise ships is "very high." And it came just after three Carnival lines announced an extension of cancellations well into 2021.

Its Holland America and Princess Cruise lines have suspended sailings until at least the end of March. The luxury Seabourn line will suspend operations of two of its ships until November of next year.

The flagship Carnival line had already postponed sailings through the end of January. The company says it is developing a plan to reintroduce sailings, focusing initially on cruises out of Miami and Port Canaveral.

The Carnival Legend out of Tampa will not embark until at least March 26.

Also on Monday, Disney Cruise Line announced that it will extend its suspension of all of its cruises though the end of January, including from Port Canaveral.

For cruise lines to start operations again, they will have to implement new CDC measures. That includes: ships will require coronavirus testing on board for crew and passengers and will have space dedicated if anyone needs to quarantine.

Copyright 2020 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and StateImpact Florida.