The uncertainty in the cruise industry continues, but while the lines try to comply with the protocols and regulations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Government of Puerto Rico says it is attentive to a possible reactivation of this market for the summer of 2021.
“They have not yet completed the evaluation process that the CDC required of them for the cruise lines to carry out controlled, simulated trips, set up almost a test laboratory internally and that has delayed a lot. The CDC has to certify them and requires that they be certified by an impartial third party ”, explained the executive director of the Ports Authority, Joel A. Pizá
One example of the difficulties it is facing is the recent cruise line itinerary cancellations. In the case of Carnival, it suspended its itineraries until April 1, while Royal Caribbean did the same for the next 30 to 45 days.
For his part, the director of the Tourism Company, Carlos Mercado, assured that the closures in different ports of the world will not allow an activation of the industry, at least in the first months of the year.
“Beyond the CDC lifting the navigation restrictions, there are many ports that continue to be closed and, commercially, it is not viable in these coming months to offer cruise packages,” he said.
Despite this, the conversations held between officials and the main cruise lines have been focused on the fact that the activity could be reactivated soon and that the arrival of cruise ships could take place on the island for the summer months.
“More or less in May, June or July we could be receiving the first requests of that nature,” said Pizá.
In the event that the Government of Puerto Rico approves the arrival of cruise ships in summer, the directors of Tourism and Ports announced that it would not be an operation where cruise ships depart from the Island, but an opening only to transit. “That (home port) looks a bit more distant,” Pizá acknowledged.
Prior to the approval of the entry of cruise ships to the Island, they explained, the protocols of the Department of Health and the National Guard must be established, similar to those carried out at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport.