Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas.
- Almost 250 cruise ships will sail in January despite rising COVID-19 cases.
- In late December 2021, the CDC recommended all travelers – vaccinated or not – avoid cruising.
- The agency is now investigating over 90 cruise ships in the wake of COVID-19 outbreaks.
Almost 250 cruise ships will sail in January despite rising COVID-19 cases and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising travelers against cruising.
In the first month of 2022, 242 cruise ships across 68 brands will operate around the world, the highest number of ships to sail since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data compiled by Cruise Industry News. Royal Caribbean will send off 20 vessels, the most of any brand, while Carnival and MSC Cruises will operate 17 and 13 ships, respectively, this month.
This update comes less than a week after the CDC raised its cruise travel warning to the highest level as COVID-19 cases continue to spike on cruise ships amid the spread of the Omicron variant. The agency is now investigating over 90 ships amid this outbreak, including vessels operated by Disney, MSC Cruises, Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean.
“It is not possible for cruising to be a zero-risk activity,” a spokesperson told Insider in late December 2021, noting that coronavirus can spread “easily” on a cruise ship due to its tight quarters. In the last two weeks of 2021, cruise ships reported over 5,000 COVID-19 cases, 31 times the cases reported in the first two weeks of December.