Cruise ships are still scrambling for safe harbor

More than a dozen cruise ships remain stranded at sea right now — some with and some without passengers — as ports deny entry and passengers panic about returning home.

On March 13, in light of mounting fears over onboard Covid-19 outbreaks, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) made the decision to suspend operations from US ports of call for 30 days.

Two weeks later, thousands of passengers and crew members remain aboard at least 15 ships across the world.

Industry group CLIA encompasses 38 cruise companies, with a total of 277 ships.

The organization confirmed to CNN on March 31 that 3.6% of the total fleet was still at sea completing adjusted itineraries and five ships are awaiting debarkation.

“Flight restrictions and port closures have led to some challenges bringing ships in, however our members are working around the clock to address these road blocks,” a CLIA spokersperson told CNN Travel.

“CLIA is asking ports and governments around the world to allow these ships to come into port so that those onboard can make their way home safely and as quickly as possible.”

Major cruise lines P&O, Cunard, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Holland America have now extended their ban on cruising until mid-May.