(CNN) — It’s been a year since the cruise industry was in the eye of the Covid storm as leisure ships proved themselves ideal places for the disease to spread.
On March 13 last year, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order for ships plying American waters while major industry body Cruise Lines International Association voluntarily suspended all operations.
The resulting scramble to get passengers and crew members home dragged on for several months. Ports closed their doors to virus-hit vessels, on-board Covid cases spiraled and when passengers were returned home, crew members still stuck at sea were hit by a mental health crisis.
Today, the multi-billion dollar industry remains in limbo. While recent vaccine rollouts have brought optimism and, in some countries, Covid numbers are finally going down after a devastating second wave, international travel remains curtailed.
Most of the world’s major cruise lines have canceled voyages until the northern hemisphere summer — and there remain question marks over what cruising in the wake of Covid will look like.
Attempts to bring cruising back in certain markets have so far yielded mixed results.
While it’s hard to know exactly when and how the world will reopen, here’s what we do know about the future of cruising.
What are cruise lines and countries saying?
Right now, most of the world’s major cruise lines remain out of action.