Norwegian halts more cruise sailings, including one out of Tampa

Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled more cruises amid the COVID-19 spike, one of which sails in and out of Port Tampa Bay.

For Norwegian, that makes a total of 11 ships impacted by the virus. Sailing on the "Norwegian Dawn" out of Tampa has been canceled until January 18. Sailing has also been suspended on the "Norwegian Joy" out of Miami and "Norwegian Escape" out of Port Canaveral until January 22.

The cruise line says affected customers will automatically receive a refund.  Royal Caribbean also canceling cruises due to COVID-19. 

The CDC has advised against cruising, saying every U.S. cruise with passengers has coronavirus cases on board. However, cruise lines and travel agencies say this variant is manageable.  

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"I’m surprised with how the CDC has come after the cruise line industry," said Diane Ross who founded Kingsbridge Travel Agency. "It’s safer than being on land. Since June, if you take the percentage of people who have gotten infected on cruises, it’s .02%." 

Those statistics are from the Royal Caribbean group. 

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The CDC’s conditional sailing order, which sets safety rules like mandated testing will end Saturday. 

The agency's director told Congress she expects cruises lines to switch to a voluntary system. 

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