Cruises are back: here’s what you need to know about safety before boarding

AFTER ALMOST 18 months of sleep in the era of Covid 19, cruise passengers are increasingly starting to sail again. American Cruise Line launched from Florida in March. Crystal Cruises resumed operations, with two ships sailing to the Bahamas, in July. Norwegian Jade crisscrosses the Greek Islands, with many Americans on board. At the end of August, Oceania Cruises marina set sail from Copenhagen, and her sister ship, the Riviera, is due to travel from Istanbul to Trieste in October. Viking Ocean Cruises 2022 Itineraries are nearly full. There is clearly a demand and the passengers are ready to board. The question is: is it safe to browse now?

Are cruise ships safe?

Public perception that the answer is yes has increased dramatically in recent months, according to a July poll by travel marketing firm MMGY Global. And grim images of virus-riddled giant ships washed up offshore had faded, at least until August, when coronavirus infections were identified aboard the Carnival Vista cruise ship leaving Galveston, Texas. (A 77-year-old passenger who was treated on board and then evacuated to an Oklahoma hospital later died. The ship was able to prevent further spread of the virus.)

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