Signaling a return of cruises, HDOT signs port agreements with cruise liners

Hawaii is reporting 1,592 new cases today as a COVID surge continues.
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 5:10 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In a signal that the cruise industry is returning to Hawaii this year, the first port agreements have been signed between the HDOT Harbors Division, Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

The agreements formalize health and safety requirements for cruise line operations in the State of Hawaii. The industry has been at a standstill in the islands since the start of the pandemic.

[Read a related report: Cruise industry seeks a restart in Hawaii as ships plan to dock in January]

The agreements include details of on-board testing and medical capabilities, including the evacuation of passengers and crews if needed, quarantine and isolation housing plans, and acceptance of local and state health rules to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Port agreements apply to cruise lines with the capacity to carry more than 250 people and have itineraries that include overnight stays. Passengers from out-of-state must also abide by the Hawaii Safe Travels program.

HDOT says Carnival and NCL have committed to full vaccination rates in addition to pre-board testing and onboard safety and cleaning practices.

Transportation officials said developing the agreements was a joint effort between the Governor’s Office, CDC, DOH and other stakeholders.

“We appreciate everyone, including the cruise line representatives, coming together to finalize the required agreements to fulfil the CDC Conditional Sailing Order,” Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay said.

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