Cruise line bosses have extended the suspension of US cruise operations to September 15, following a meeting of cruise line association CLIA’s global board.

CLIA confirmed the extension of the suspension from July 24 to mid-September on Friday (June 19).

The suspension applies to all ships with a capacity of 250 or more, in line with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.

In a statement, CLIA said: “Due to the ongoing situation within the US related to Covid-19, CLIA member cruise lines have decided to voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations.

“The current No Sail Order issued by the CDC will expire on 24 July and, although we had hoped cruise activity could resume as soon as possible after that date, it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the US.”

CLIA said: “Although we are confident that future cruises will be healthy and safe and will fully reflect the latest protective measures, we also feel it is appropriate to err on the side of caution to help ensure the best interests of passengers and crewmembers.

“We have therefore decided to further extend our suspension of operations from US ports until 15 September.

“The additional time will allow us to consult with the CDC on measures that will be appropriate for the eventual resumption of cruise operations.”

The association added: “We will continually evaluate the situation and make a determination as to whether a further extension is necessary.

“We know this decision will have tremendous implications for the greater cruise community – including travel agencies and agents, cruise suppliers and service providers, and especially ports and port cities which depend on revenue from cruise operations.”

However, CLIA said: “It is clear that extending the suspension of US operations is the right thing to do as we seek additional direction and collaboration from the CDC regarding requirements for the resumption of passenger operations.”