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It was a rollercoaster this week with cruise news. There were some positive signs that cruising was set to resume and news about NCL’s latest ship. Still, some negative cruise headlines popped up around COVID-19 and the further delay of cruising in the United States. Catch up with all of the announcements in our latest cruise news update for August 9th!

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Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member cruise lines announced an extension to the voluntary suspension of cruising from the U.S. through October 31st. While cruise lines like Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises had already announced cancellations through the end of October or beyond, this meant a slew of new cancellations from other lines, including Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Group, were announced.

Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Harry Sommer sat down with Porthole Cruise’s Bill Panoff to talk about the future of cruising. The pair discussed safety protocols and health measures that the cruise line plans to implement once cruising resumes. Mr. Sommer also touched briefly on the line’s newest ship, the Leonardo-class, which is expected in 2022.

With several cruise lines resuming cruises the past few weeks in other parts of the world, a major cruise news story this week was the outbreak of the virus on several vessels. Crew and passengers on ships that have set sail, including UnCruise Advenutres, Paul Gauguin, Hurtigruten, and Sea Dream Yacht Club tested positive for the virus. In addition, crew members on ships set to sail soon, including TUI Cruises Mein Schiff 1, two Costa Cruises ships and two AIDA cruise ships have also tested positive.

Lastly, MSC Cruises rolled out its new safety and health protocols. Along with the usual sanitation and social distancing measures, MSC Cruises was the first cruise line to announce that they would require a rapid COVID-19 test before allowing passengers onboard. The cruise line is also requiring masks when social distancing is not possible, and even providing masks in passenger cabins and around the ship.

With these new protocols in place, MSC Cruises plans to begin sailing in the Mediterranean in just one week with its new flagship MSC Grandiosa followed soon after by MSC Magnifica. Now, that’s the best news we have heard in a while!

There you have it, that is the latest cruise news and updates for the week. Let us know in the comments section below if we missed any major cruise headlines from the past week.

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