Anyone who hopes to travel on a cruise ship to Hawaii this year can forget about it.
“With the preparation and coordination required to ensure that residents of Hawaii feel confident in the cruise resumption plan, we do not anticipate approving the stopover of cruise ships with passengers in time. remaining in 2021, “State Department of Transportation spokesman Jai Cunningham said on Thursday.
“We plan to strike a deal and clear the takeover of the passenger docks in early 2022,” Cunningham said. “â¦ Cruise operations may resume, under the terms of the agreement, after this agreement has been executed.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s conditional navigation order, which requires an agreement signed with any cruise line before cruise operations resume to any U.S. port, is due to expire on January 15, but the CDC extended this order before.
In Hawaii, the DOT Ports Division would be the executing authority.
The Conditional Sailing Order – which had dry-docked the cruise industry since March 13, 2020 – also requires cruise passengers to show that 95% of cruise ship crew and passengers arriving and departing from ports Americans must be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
Florida ports have hosted cruise ships for about five months since a June 18 Federal Court ruling that the CDC could not enforce its conditional navigation order on cruise ships in Florida waters, a victory for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, who sued the CDC in April.
This ruling, however, only applied to the state of Florida.
In addition, a number of other states now allow cruise ships in their ports under the terms of the CDC order, including Alaska, Washington, Texas and California.
There has been a refusal from at least one cruise line not to be able to bring passengers to Hawaii, a popular destination for cruise enthusiasts.
On the Cruise Hive cruise industry website, a headline from a Nov. 10 article reads: “Carnival Cruise Lines Cancels Sailing to Hawaii From Long Beach.”
According to the story, the Carnival Miracle was scheduled to leave Long Beach, California, and dock in Honolulu on December 3. Hawaii a reality.
âAlthough the cruise line has agreed to all necessary protocols, Hawaii is still not ready to welcome cruise ships again for guest operations,â the article said.
The article quoted John Heald, Carnival Brand Ambassador, as saying, âWhile the ship is ready and we have accepted all state-required protocols, they will not be ready to resume cruising in Hawaii until 2022. I want to assure you that they are making every effort to preserve this but unfortunately we have no choice but to cancel this cruise.
Asked about the cruise line’s statement, Cunningham replied, âThe carnival is aware of the preparations for the (state’s) Safe Travels digital platform to accommodate the additional approved vaccine types as well as the interface user for cruise passengers. They were aware of these preparations and the likely times when they made their reservations.
Cunningham said the state’s ports division “has coordinated with cruise lines, counties, and local health and emergency management agencies on port agreements that clearly define available resources and responsibilities for potential health emergencies. The state has jointly prepared a framework for such agreements, which includes adapting the Safe Travel pre-arrival screening program for cruise travel.
â… And with only a few weeks left in the calendar year, it is not possible to execute port agreements in such a short time. “
The Hawaii Portcall website – which many cruise enthusiasts rely on but which the state has described as unofficial information – lists the Grand Princess of Princess Cruises docked in Hilo on January 9 and the Viking Orion on January 11. . Although these dates cannot. yet to be ruled out based on DOT statements, they seem overly optimistic given that the CDC’s conditional navigation order remains in effect until January 15.
Hawaii Portcall also lists Norwegian Cruise Lines Hawaii which resumes weekly stopovers at the Port of Hilo for its inter-island cruise ship Pride of America on January 25 on Tuesday.
âWe miss them,â said Dinnie Kysar, president of the Destination Hilo tourism association. “As far as I know, we expect cruise ships in January, but nothing the rest of this year.”
“We are hoping that Pride of America kicks off at the end of January so we can start welcoming passengers at the pier and even having our Hilo Hula performance on Tuesday at the Mooheau (Park) bandstand,” she said.
Email John Burnett at [email protected]