Every cruise ship sailing with passengers in U.S. waters has reports of COVID-19 infections, prompting some cruise ship operators to cancel sails as far out as April.
The number of cruise ships with infections has dramatically increased over recent weeks as the Omicron variant spreads like wildfire throughout the U.S.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has flagged 92 cruise ships with infections this week.
Last week, the CDC raised the COVID-19 Travel Health Notice level for cruise ships from Level 3 to Level 4, the highest level, amid soaring infections. Health officials warned Americans to avoid traveling on cruise ships at all costs.
"The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters on board ships, and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose," the agency warned.
Despite all crew and adult passengers required to be fully vaccinated before boarding, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines announced Wednesday that they would cancel sailings due to breakthrough infections.
Royal Caribbean canceled its Spectrum of the Seas cruise today, and Norwegian Cruise canceled some sailing through April.
Here are Norwegian Cruise's canceled sailings:
- Norwegian Getaway's January 5 cruise.
- Norwegian Pearl cruises embarking through January 14.
- Norwegian Sky cruises embarking on February 25.
- Pride of America cruises embarking through February 26.
- Norwegian Jade cruises embarking through March 3.
- Norwegian Star cruises embarking through March 19.
- Norwegian Sun cruises embarking through April 19.
- Norwegian Spirit cruises embarking through April 23.
"Due to ongoing travel restrictions, we've had to modify a few sailings and unfortunately have had to cancel," Norwegian Cruise said.
Meanwhile, bigger rival Carnival Corp has yet to cancel any upcoming sailings. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal recently called for the industry to "pause or dock their ships" amid the virus outbreak.
What's ironic is that cruise ships were once lauded as one of the safest vacations due to their strict health policies of only allowing vaxxed adults and their ability to isolate themselves from the rest of the "dangerous" world. Now they've become floating COVID-infested cities.
It's only a matter of time before more sailings are canceled.