The federal agency now classifies cruise travel as “Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19” and clarifies that this includes river cruises and applies worldwide.
At the end of October, the CDC lifted its months-long ban on cruise ships operating in and out of US ports.
While the majority of major cruise companies have canceled voyages in US waters until 2021, some voyages have recommenced elsewhere.
Cruise operations in the Mediterranean restarted over the summer, albeit with reduced passenger capacity and a more limited itinerary.
Earlier this month, SeaDream 1, the first cruise ship to depart from a Caribbean port since the spring, was hit by a slew of Covid cases, despite a pre-boarding testing policy. Seven passengers and two crew members tested positive for the virus.
The outbreak put into doubt the ability of testing alone to combat the spread of coronavirus on cruises.
As SeaDream 1 can only carry 112 guests, the ship didn’t have to follow the CDC’s advice on cruising — as well as rigorous testing, the CDC also advises compulsory mask-wearing and social distancing.
The new CDC guidance specifies that “passengers who decide to go on a cruise should get tested 3-5 days after your trip.”
Even if travelers test negative once they return home, they are advised to stay home for seven days. If they don’t get tested, they should stay home for 14 days.
The agency’s advice is that “for most travelers, cruise ship travel is voluntary and should be rescheduled for a future date.”
But despite CDC warnings, many cruise lovers are excited to cruising again. Major cruise line Royal Caribbean said its been inundated by travelers looking to sign up for its trial cruise scheme, which is still in its planning stages.
Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean, said in a Facebook post that 100,000 people had registered interest so far.
CNN’s Marnie Hunter and Patrick Oppmann contributed to this report.