Cruise Lines Could Jump Ship To Foreign Ports In Industry Isn't Allowed To Reopen Soon

CBS4's Hank Tester has more on the frustrations from cruise ship companies operating at American ports.

Video Transcript

- Our team coverage focuses now on community concerns if our ports do not reopen soon, if cruise ships, and if cruise companies headquartered here, begin shipping out from other ports in other countries. CBS4's Hank Tester takes a closer look at that.

HANK TESTER: It seems like this would gall the cruise ship companies that operate out of American ports like Port Miami, where cruise lines have been shut down by the Center for Disease Control mandates for over a year.

STEWART CHIRON: They want to get these ships started again. If they're not going to be able to do it from, you know, here from a United States port, then they're going to move them to foreign ports.

HANK TESTER: And that's exactly what many major cruise companies are doing, citing what companies in Europe and the Pacific have been able to accomplish during the pandemic. Morgan O'Brien is an American travel video blogger living in Germany.

MORGAN O'BRIEN: People are getting temperature checks every day. We have to be tested 72 hours before the cruise leaves, and, of course, it has to be a negative PCR test.

HANK TESTER: Miami-based Royal Caribbean has tested those systems abroad with encouraging results.

STEWART CHIRON: Over 400,000 people have cruised in the last eight months in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, with fewer than 50 COVID cases being reported.

HANK TESTER: Royal Caribbean and Norwegian say they will require all passengers and crew to be inoculated. Cruise ships will depart to foreign ports with less than capacity, with enhanced CDC protocols, and increased medical staffs on board, mirroring the European cruise experience.

MORGAN O'BRIEN: Onboard the ship we are required to wear a surgical mask at any time we're moving around the ship.

HANK TESTER: So the cruise companies will be departing in the very near future from ports such as Nassau, Saint Martin's, Montego Bay, Punta Cana, Bermuda, Athens, Greece.

STEWART CHIRON: For us here in the US to fly to Saint Martin, Montego Bay, Punta Cana, Nassau, or over to Athens, or Limassol, Cyprus to catch a ship, you know, people do that all the time.

HANK TESTER: Well, that's not too convenient for South Florida residents. And if you're looking for any cruise deals, forget about it because these ships will be operating at less than full capacity. Demand is very high I'm told. I'm Hank Tester, CBS4 News.