Hawaii’s tourism industry sees hope with return of cruise ships and meetings
Luxury Cruise Guide
08 January, 2022
The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) has approved "restarts" of cruise operations for Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line ships. It stresses that cruise lines must have onboard testing and medical capabilities and have agreed to abide by additional restrictions, if needed.
The department's Harbors Division announced the execution of the department's first port agreements with both lines. The agreements formalize health and safety protocols for cruise line operations in the State of Hawaii.
Per the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Conditional Sail Order" (CSO), which expires January 15 but the CDC has extended it repeatedly in the past, cruise lines with the capacity to carry more than 250 people (passengers and crew) and itineraries that include overnight stays must have a formal port agreement with local port and health authorities.
The department said port agreements must include:
- A medical agreement outlining evacuation of passengers or crew in need of care
- A housing agreement should the quarantine or isolation of passengers or crew be needed
- An acknowledgement of the public health response resources of the local jurisdictions and vaccination strategies implemented by the cruise lines to minimize risk of spread of COVID-19
TheCDC order also requires each ship to have onboard testing and medical staff to ensure proper prevention, mitigation, and response protocols and training. Additionally, the department said in its press release that "Carnival and NCL have committed to full vaccination rates in addition to pre-board testing and onboard safety and cleaning protocols."
In addition to the cruise line and CDC requirements, the State of Hawaii will be requiring participation in the State’s Safe Travels digital platform to upload proof of vaccination or negative test results for cruise lines arriving in Hawaii from outside the state. Safe Travels participation will not apply to cruise lines sailing inter-island.
In its press release, the department said that "the signed port agreements will apply until superseded by a new agreement regardless of expiration of the CDC order." The agreement also allows Hawaii to suspend, rescind, or amend the document at any time in case of changing situations. Counties may also implement additional restrictions at any time.
“We appreciate everyone, including the cruise line representatives, coming together to finalize the required agreements to fulfill the CDC 'Conditional Sailing Order,'” Jade Butay, director, Hawaii Department of Transportation, said.
Notification of signed port agreements will be made through the HDOT website and social media accounts prior to the first confirmed sailings.
Separately, earlier this week Norwegian cancelled multiple voyages and postponed restarts for multiple ships including the Hawaii-based, American-flagged Pride of America. That ship's voyages are cancelled for embarkation dates through and including February 26, 2022.Find Great Cruise Deals
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