Galveston cruises get ready to go back to sea after CDC revises recommendations

Jeff Ehling Image
Friday, April 30, 2021
Galveston cruises get ready to set sail again after CDC revision
New CDC framework says U.S. cruises could resume by mid-July with 95% of passengers fully vaccinated.

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Big news for Galveston: The cruise industry is getting ready to set sail from our area once again.

There are still some hurdles to overcome, but we do expect to see ships return to the island next week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revising its guidelines for the cruise industry gets travelers one step closer to seeing ships depart from Galveston.

U.S. cruises could resume as early as mid-July, the CDC is now telling the cruise industry.

The CDC clarified its existing return-to-sailing framework on Wednesday, allowing cruise companies to bypass previously required simulated voyages if a ship attests that 98% of its crew and 95% of its passengers are fully vaccinated.

"We acknowledge that cruising will never be a zero-risk activity," the agency said in a letter to cruise industry officials obtained by ABC News, "and that the goal of the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order's phased approach is to resume passenger operations in a way that mitigates the risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard cruise ships and across port communities."

RELATED: Cruises could resume in US by mid-July with 95% of passengers fully vaccinated, CDC says

U.S. cruises could resume as early as mid-July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now telling the cruise industry.

For the island, it is a huge economic impact. More than $125 million a year in spending is linked to cruises on Galveston Island, and statewide, the industry employs more than 29,000 people.

And just in time for the return to sea, Disney has a new cruise ship ready to set sail, the Disney Wish.

It is the latest ship to set sail under the Disney Cruise Line, and it promises experiences at sea that you've never seen before, including Disney's first ever attraction at sea.

"It is called Aqua-Mouse, and in it we are going to take our guests into the wonderful world of Mickey Mouse. And if you have seen any of those animated shorts, you know that Mickey and Minnie's adventures do not always go as planned, and this is the same thing. So, we are going on a port adventure and we take a little detour from where we were intended to go. But it is a Splash-tastic level of fun," said Disney Project Coordinator Sachi Handke.

The Disney Wish sets sail next year from Florida. You can book tickets starting in June.

The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of this station.

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SEE ALSO: Cruise ships set to return to Galveston this weekend in hopes to welcome passengers this summer

The port of Galveston Trustees will consider a new resolution Tuesday to resume the cruise industry. The port has invested over $100,000 in safety improvements inside its two terminals. ABC13's Nick Natario is taking a closer look at what this means for travelers and our local economy.