Cruise industry chooses to cancel sailings to U.S. ports until mid-September

The Norwegian Bliss prepares to leave Juneau on June 5, 2018. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

The largest U.S. cruise industry trade group announced late last week that it would voluntarily suspend cruises from U.S. ports through mid-September.

A federal no-sail order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remains in effect for large cruise ships through late July. Cruise Lines International Association says extending the shutdown through September 15 will give it time to consult with the CDC on measures to eventually resume sailings.

The move chips away at some of the last remaining big-ship cruises on Southeast Alaska’s schedule. The Norwegian Cruise Line megaships Joy and Bliss are the only two left. They were set to make a total of four trips through the Inside Passage before September 15. Those likely won’t happen.

The Norwegian Joy and Bliss have a combined total of five Alaska trips scheduled after the 15th.

The industry group says its cruise suspension doesn’t affect smaller ships that aren’t subject to the CDC’s no-sail order.