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Coronavirus: Cruise ship industry anxiously waiting for green light to resume sailings, but many complications linger

Several ships have been docked at South Florida’s major ports

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Many cruise ships have docked in South Florida during the coronavirus pandemic.

As communities work to return to some sense of normalcy, one big question is what will happen to one of the biggest industries in South Florida.

Dozens of the popular, moving vacation destinations are just waiting for the U.S. government to hit the re-start button.

"They’re anchored or sailing in order to maintain the operation of the ships," said cruise industry expert Stewart Chiron.

In the meantime, because of air travel restrictions, companies like Carnival will be using nine of their ships to repatriate more than 10,000 crew members to countries all over the world.

"They’re literally collecting crew members on various ships and putting them onto other ships," said Chiron.

Several cruise ships have been docked at South Florida's major ports, including Port Miami (pictured) and Port Everglades.
Several cruise ships have been docked at South Florida's major ports, including Port Miami (pictured) and Port Everglades. (WPLG)

While societies around the world start a return to normalcy, uncertainty still looms over the cruise line industry.

"Right now they’re just trying to figure out what they can, when they can do it and it’s very complex situation," said Chiron.

Chiron also added that UBS Securities recently released a report showing a nine percent increase in bookings for 2021.

"There is a lot of people that were on cancelled sailings in 2020 that are in the process for rebooking for 2021," Chiron said.

One major issue is that countries across the globe have different travel restrictions.

“Realistically, we are probably looking at a July restart of some ships,” Chiron said. “It’s not going to be 100%.”


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