In a White House press briefing, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he hopes to bring cruising back by the middle of summer. But don't get too excited, it's not exactly the kind you'd hope.
When Secretary Buttigieg, in his first briefing since joining the Biden administration, was asked by reporters about the possibility of the cruise industry opening up again, he seemed optimistic. "The CDC is hopeful that a lot of these operators will be able to be cruising by mid-summer," he answered, "We want to do this as soon as we responsibly can but we want to be safe."
He added that "the bottom line is safety" and that he "can't wait for us all to be on the move as much as possible, but it's gotta be safe and responsible."
So, while one type of cruising may be back this summer, we still have to wait to be seen if it will be safe to hook up once more people are vaccinated.
Buttigieg's comments come just one day after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration and the Centers for Disease Control, demanding that they reopen the cruise ship industry. Cruise ships were shut down over a year ago because of the ongoing global pandemic.
DeSantis announced his lawsuit in a news conference where he said "the CDC has locked down this industry for over a year, this is not reasonable, this is not rational." He added, "we don't believe the federal government has the right to mothball a major industry for over a year based on very little evidence and very little data."
The CDC had shut down cruises because of outbreaks of the pandemic tied to ships, but DeSantis said that that's not a valid enough reason to impact Florida and it's economy this much. Florida is the center of the cruise industry in the U.S., with Miami, Port Canaveral, and Port Everglades being three of the biggest ports in the world. Meanwhile, gay travel company Atlantis scheduled a cruise from Los Angeles to Mazatlan, Mexico that departs on Halloween.
While cruises originating in the United States have been shut down, the industry has resumed in other parts of the world. "People are going to cruise one way or another." DeSantis said, "the question is are we going to do it out of Florida, which is the number one place to do it in the world, or are they going to be doing it out of the Bahamas or other locations?"