A new health framework to define cruising’s future
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and its cruise line members have begun creating a new health framework to uphold the safety of guests and prepare for future operations in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
While cruise operations are suspended, we are using this time to lay a new foundation for cruising and make sure we’re ready when the time comes to sail again.
Teams of people around the world are working in tandem with medical experts and health authorities to ensure we learn as much as possible from these unprecedented events and exceed community expectations in our response.
The maritime policy work now underway within CLIA will define the specific screening, cleansing and medical protocols that cruise lines will adopt globally, in addition to those already in place. The industry’s highest priority will be to ensure the safety and security of guests, crew and the communities that cruise lines visit.
The challenges before us are great and there is no quick fix, which is why we have embarked on a process that will be extremely thorough and will address the concerns that communities and authorities expect to see us confront.
100% Testing Commitment
In a first for any travel sector, CLIA ocean members across the globe have agreed to conduct 100% testing of passengers and crew on all ships with a capacity of more than 250 persons. Billed as an example of the cruise industry leading the way to a safe resumption of operations, a negative test result will be required for any embarkation.
In announcing the commitment, CLIA Global President & Chief Executive Officer Kelly Craighead said “we see testing as an important initial step to a multi-layered approach that we believe validates the industry’s commitment to making health, safety and the well-being of the passengers, the crew and the communities we visit our top priority”
Select here to access Travel Agent COVID-19 Toolkit.
Here are some resources to help you through this challenging time.
Government Resources - Australia
- Australian Government Department of Health
- Australian Government’s Smartraveller website
- Australian Government Business - Economic Response to the Coronavirus
- Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
- Tourism Australia - Coronavirus Information and Resources For Australia's Tourism Industry
Government Resources - New Zealand
- Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
- Ministry of Social Development - COVID-19 support for employers
- Free Online Anxiety & Stress Management Course (Redsheed)
- Looking after mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19 (Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand)
People First - Always: The cruise industry’s absolute priority is always the safety, health and wellbeing of passengers, crew and the places we visit.
The cruise industry has put its focus on the health of its guests for more than 50 years. Right now, the industry is working to redefine health measures globally so that it’s ready when the time comes to resume sailing.
Above and Beyond: Vital Economic Artery: We are making significant changes in our operations, so that we can move forward and be successful as the world recovers from COVID-19.
The cruise industry is working in tandem with medical experts and health authorities globally to ensure we learn as much as possible from these unprecedented events and exceed community expectations in our response.
Vital Economic Artery: People are at the heart of the cruise community, which supports more than 18,000 jobs around our region.
The cruise industry is worth more than $5 billion a year to communities around Australia and New Zealand. Right now, the industry is working to redefine health measures globally so that it will be ready when the time comes to restore its economic contribution to people throughout our region.
Leadership: The cruise industry will take a leadership role when it comes to responsible tourism, putting people first, and with a focus on health and safety.
The cruise industry is not alone in having to confront the impact of COVID-19 – but as it works to create a new global health framework for the future, the industry aims to set standards that other sectors may follow.
Resilience: The cruise community will emerge from the COVID-19 crisis stronger for the challenges we have faced and the experience gained.
While cruise operations are suspended, the cruise industry is using this time to lay a new foundation and make sure we’re ready when the time comes to sail again. Significant changes are planned to uphold the safety, health and wellbeing of passengers, crew and the places we visit.
100% of CLIA ocean cruise line ships are required to have medical facilities with highly trained medical professionals and doctors available 24/7
Passengers and crew on CLIA cruise line ships are carefully screened before they board
100% of CLIA ocean cruise lines are employing enhanced screenings to ensure the safety and well-being of passengers and crew
The health and safety of guests and crew is always the number 1 priority for CLIA cruise lines
Q: Are any cruises continuing at this time?
No. Worldwide, all ships operated by CLIA cruise line members have returned to port and disembarked their passengers. In Australia and New Zealand, government suspensions of cruise operations have been announced in addition to the voluntary suspensions announced previously by cruise lines.
Q: What arrangements are there for people with bookings on cancelled cruises?
Cruise lines are offering refunds and credits according to their individual policies. Travel agents and passengers are advised to contact cruise lines for details on any particular departure and the options available.
Q:When will cruises resume?
Cruise lines will continue to be guided by public health authorities and government advice on when cruises should resume. However, while cruise operations are suspended, CLIA and cruise line members are using this time to create a new health framework to uphold the safety of guests and prepare for future operations.
Q: How will cruise lines address health concerns raised by COVID-19?
Teams of people around the world are working with medical experts and health authorities to ensure we learn as much as possible from COVID-19 and exceed community expectations in our industry’s response.
CLIA’s maritime policy work will define the specific screening, cleansing and medical protocols that cruise lines will adopt globally, in addition to those already in place. It is too early to discuss specific procedures being developed, but our highest priority will be the safety and security of guests, crew and the communities we visit.
Q: Will cruises resume domestically ahead of international operations?
This has yet to be determined, however it is likely cruise operations around the world will resume in a staged, regional form. It is possible that local or domestic cruise operations may be available before any international resumption.
Q: What is CLIA doing to address perceptions of cruising in the community?
The cruise industry will put people first in its recovery plans. The new health framework under development will be our primary response in the interests of upholding the health and safety of guests and crew, and providing reassurance to travellers.
While it is too soon to discuss details, CLIA is implementing communications strategies that will ensure awareness of the measures we’re taking, including among industry stakeholders, governments and the wider public.
The challenges before us are great and there is no quick solution, which is why we have embarked on a process that will be extremely thorough and will address the concerns that communities and authorities expect to see us confront.
Q: What is the economic significance of cruising?
The cruise industry has an enormous economic impact in Australia and New Zealand, generating more than $5 billion a year for the region’s economies and sustaining more than 18,000 jobs.
Cruising helps support employment across many sectors reaching far throughout the economy, including airlines, tour operators, guides, transport workers, travel agencies, hoteliers, maritime workers, technical suppliers and the many local food and wine providers who stock the ships.
Cruise lines have invested heavily in opening up new regional destinations. They also invest in communities through the South Pacific and have mounted projects supporting healthcare, education, conservation, employment and business development.
Q: Will the cruise industry be able to recover from COVID-19?
While it is too soon to speculate on the long-term impact of this pandemic upon travel patterns generally, we believe our industry has the resilience and responsibility to overcome the challenges ahead.
Australians and New Zealanders have a particular passion for cruising, which is reflected in this region having some of the strongest cruise passenger numbers in the world.
Australian and New Zealand governments appreciate the important role that cruising has within the overall tourism mix, and we are looking forward to working with them towards the revival of this important tourism sector.
Q: Can CLIA assist with matters relating to travel agent commissions?
As an industry association, CLIA does not have involvement in the commercial matters of individual cruise lines, including commission arrangements. These are outside our remit and can be subject to competition laws which prevent our involvement.
Q: Can CLIA assist with consumer complaints?
In these extraordinary circumstances, it is important to note that many hundreds of thousands of travellers are seeking information on the status of their bookings. There may be delays in obtaining information, however cruise lines are working to assist guests as swiftly as possible.
CLIA is not a consumer regulatory body and does not have the power to pursue matters on behalf of passengers. Queries should always be directed to the cruise line concerned. Any unresolved disputes should be addressed via the usual national or state government bodies that oversee consumer provisions.