As you may be aware, NCL is sending all non essential crew back home that have been assembling for the past few months. Speculation is NCL will require all staff to be vaccinated prior to rehiring. This will no dought effect Oceania's Cruise Start Dates.
I posted back at the begining January the following suggested start dates which I now believe are not valid.
New Year Guess to Sail Start to Oceania Ships - Oceania Cruises - Cruise Critic Community
There are a number of reasons why, but the most obovious are:
- new strains of COVID, currently 4, and the experts including CDC are suggesting that many more will show up.
- while vacinations are occuring, the prevelance of vaccine shortages world wide will effect where ships can go. Canada, where I reside, is not expecting to have 50% of the population vaccinated until the end of September.
- At this point no childern under 16 are being vaccinated (althought Oceania rarely as childern other than Alaska voyages)
- Many countries with Oceania destinations are locking down even tighter than ever before.
- Barrons Market Research analyst states US Cruises are not likely to resume until the fourth quarter or early 2022
- It takes a minimum of 90 days for Oceania Ships to get back into service (at limited capacity) to meet the CDC's Framework for Contitional Sailing Order for Cruise Ships.
- No anticipated change to PVSA (passenger ship equilivant to Jones Act)
- Only Regatta has started its process for CDC approval to Sail. It has not yet attempted any Crew or non paying Passenger test cruises.
- Oceania appears to not want to have the other five ships to go through the CDC process as they are heeping those ships overseas.
- Expectation that for the other five ships, Oceania will wait fot the Contitional Sail Order to lapse as most sailings exceed 7 days. (It is possible the Conditional Sail Order will be extended unless the pandemic is seriously under control)
If I were management of Oceania, I would take the few months we have to get all the ships CDC approval to sail in case the Order is extended.
Updated first possible sail dates:
RIVIERA - November 7
INSIGNIA - October 31
NAUTICA - November 2
SIRENA - November 11
MARINA - November 2
NAUTICA does not port (currently and for the last few years) in the USA. As such is not subject to the CDC rules, but is for other countries it visits.
I suspect the European, Baltic, and Middle East countries will not open this summer. Suggested start November 2nd.
These are guesses base on the information (and guesses) collected from various sources. I really hope we are back to sailing sooner than those listed above.