Four cruise ships will dock at JAXPORT and remain at the port during the cruise industry’s voluntary suspension of US cruise operations due to coronavirus, the Jacksonville Port Authority said.
On Friday, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said its ocean-going cruise lines will be voluntarily and temporarily suspending cruise ship operations from and to US ports of call for 30 days while the authorities are addressing the pandemic.
One of the four cruise ships is Carnival Ecstasy, which is regularly homeported in Jacksonville and is already in port.
The additional three ships — Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Gem — are not regularly homeported at JAXPORT. They will arrive in Jacksonville with only crew members on board and then lay idle due to berth capacity constraints at PortMiami, where all three vessels are regularly homeported.
As informed, the crew will remain on the vessels while the ships are in Jacksonville unless an exception is deemed necessary by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Carnival Ecstasy arrived at JAXPORT on March 13. Following passenger debarkation, the vessel and its crew will remain docked at the ship’s regular location at the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Sky arrived at JAXPORT’s Talleyrand Marine Terminal during the weekend, and Norwegian Pearl is scheduled to dock at the port’s Dames Point Marine Terminal later this week.
An additional vessel, Norwegian Gem, will dock at JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal. The arrival date for that vessel is still being determined.
The vessels and their crew must be cleared by the U.S. Coast Guard and CBP upon their arrivals in Jacksonville, which is standard procedure, according to the port authority.
“We are committed to doing our part to support our fellow Florida ports and our partners in the cruise industry during this time,” said Eric Green, JAXPORT CEO, commented.
“We will continue to work closely with our federal, state, and local agencies to monitor the situation and adjust operations as needed.”
Idling at a port rather than at sea increases fuel efficiencies and provides easy access to necessary provisions for crew members and ships.