Brazil Suspends Cruise Operations Through January 21

Image: PHOTO: Tourists at Iguazu Falls, one of the world's great natural wonders, on the border of Brazil and Argentina. (photo via rmnunes / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Image: PHOTO: Tourists at Iguazu Falls, one of the world's great natural wonders, on the border of Brazil and Argentina. (photo via rmnunes / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Lacey Pfalz
by Lacey Pfalz
Last updated: 9:31 AM ET, Tue January 4, 2022

The Cruise Lines International Association's Brazil chapter (CLIA Brazil) has suspended cruise operations to Brazilian ports through January 21, 2022 citing inconsistencies with the Brazilian health ministry's approach to pandemic cruise protocols.

According to Travel Weekly, the suspension was prompted by a lack of unity between Anvisa, Brazil's health agency and the cruise industry, which had agreed upon terms of pandemic response and protocols back in November when ships returned to Brazilian ports. Anvisa recently began warning people not to cruise, calling for a "temporary interruption" of the season.

CLIA has also told Travel Weekly that Brazilian authorities have made last-minute changes to MSC and Costa Cruise Lines ship protocols that "have directly impacted ship operations," leading to the suspension.

CLIA Brazil will use the time to clarify operational health and safety protocols with the federal, state and local authorities, warning that the entire season in Brazil might be canceled if an agreement isn't reached.

"We are extremely concerned that the cruise industry's robust health and safety protocols, developed in partnership with the appropriate authorities and which have proven effective, are being questioned at a time that they should be held up as a model for others," CLIA said in a statement to Travel Weekly.

"It is very unfortunate that our cruise line members are being forced to make this decision in Brazil. However, it is important that there is harmony between the ship protocols and the agreements in place on land. We look forward to clarifying these agreements to assure a seamless plan between the companies and the authorities at all levels," the statement continued.

It is not clear what types of pandemic protocols are being questioned or overturned by the Brazilian health ministry.

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