Travel expert expects cruises out of Jacksonville to resume in late July

Cruising is expected to resume in Florida this month. News4JAX reporter Zac Lashway spoke with The Cruise Genius to find out the latest within the cruising industry.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Cruises leaving from Florida are expected to resume this summer.

In the United States, cruise companies are still talking with federal, state and local officials about health measures and trial sailings. Royal Caribbean plans trial voyages starting later this month. Those pilot trips are required before cruise lines can operate regular sailings with less than 95% of passengers being vaccinated.

“Test cruises will last for the next few weeks,” said Scott Lara, The Cruise Genius and travel expert. “Once these test cruises are over and all the protocols are met, looks like we are going to revenue cruises.”

Lara is optimistic with cruises resuming.

“I believe cruising is going to be very safe, safer than before because of everything that’s going on,” Lara said. “The enhanced ventilation, the sanitation and everything is going to be great.”

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Lara said there will be some changes to cruises due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are going to be to do the same fun things, however, it is going to be staggered boarding -- a little different because of COVID -- and we all have to be safe on cruises,” Lara said.

Lara said he expects cruises out of Jacksonville to resume by this summer.

“I expect cruises to return to Jacksonville at the end of July, which is going to be great,” Lara said. “Unfortunately, the next ten cruises are sold out. If you want to cruise from Jacksonville or Cape Canaveral or Miami, you have to book now.”

The first cruise out of Jacksonville is scheduled for July 31.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Negotiations to settle a lawsuit between Florida and the CDC over plans to reopen the cruise industry have hit a snag. Scott Lara, The Cruise Genius, discusses.

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