Posted: Sunday, December 19, 2021. 11:20 am CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: When the COVID-19 outbreak achieved full pandemic status back in 2020, it shut down cruise tourism globally and kept it inactive for 18 months. This year, despite the emergence of the Delta and Omicron variants, which are more contagious strains of the virus, cruise tourism is still in high demand.
The Indian Express reports that Carnival Cruise Line, the world’s largest cruise company, reported that its bookings for the second half of 2022 have surpassed bookings for 2019. Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean said that cancellations for 2021 and 2022 went up after the emergence of the delta variant but that bookings for 2023 remained high.
Richard D. Fain, chair and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises was quoted as saying, “I think what people have been saying is, I want to get out there, but I don’t want to do it too soon. I want to make sure that things have stabilized.”
Belize saw its first cruise ship call since the pandemic on August 18, with the arrival of the Norwegian Gem from Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). Despite COVID-19 outbreaks on a number of voyages, including the detection of a patient infected with the Omicron variant on the Norwegian Breakway which visited Belize in late November, NCL and other cruise lines continue to operate within the Conditional Sailing Order established by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which is valid up to January 15. 2022.
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