Cruise body Clia has welcomed publication of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) guidance on the resumption of cruise ship operations in the European Union.

The 36-page document does not set a date for a return for cruising in the EU but Clia said member lines envisage a gradual, ‘phased-in’ approach to resumption.

The EMSA guidance provides recommendations relating to the development of ship and port management plans, and the interaction between cruise operations and ports and terminals.

Co-authored with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the EMSA guidance follows the recent publication of EU Healthy Gateways guidance on the resumption of cruise ship operations.

Viewed together, these guidance documents aim to establish a pan-European benchmark for national maritime transport and public health authorities for the future resumption of cruising in Europe.

Clia and its member cruise lines have been engaged in the development of the guidance, and lines are also identifying appropriate ‘door-to-door’ protocols based on evolving guidance from health authorities and medical experts that cover passengers from the time of booking their cruise to the holiday itself and their safe return home.

Tom Boardley, secretary-general of Clia Europe, said: “This guidance from the European Maritime Safety Agency is an important resource for authorities and operators focused on the safe resumption of cruising in Europe.”

In American waters, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has implemented a No Sail Order to the end of September.