Mobile Mayor Stimpson Supports Lifting No Sail Order for Cruise Industry


Last week the Cruise Lines International Association, which represents 95 percent of global ocean-going cruise capacity, called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lift the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) and allow for the planning of a phased resumption of cruise operations from U.S. ports by the beginning of July.

Below is a statement from Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson supporting this proposal:

“I strongly endorse and support federal actions lifting the “No Sail Order” for the cruise industry, which is the only economic sector still shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions put in place more than a year ago. The loss of the cruise industry within the state of Alabama has had a severe and detrimental impact on the City of Mobile’s economy and the small businesses that are supported by it.

The Port of Mobile is Alabama’s only deep-water port and is home to our only cruise ship terminal, which was handling over 200,000 passengers annually prior to last year’s shutdown. These passengers translate directly to the generation of gross expenditures from hotel rooms, restaurants, local attractions, and local retail totaling over $12 million.

Additionally, Mobile’s economic sustainability has been weakened from the loss of direct and indirect cruise ship employment. The terminal directly employs 206 full/part-time employees. In addition, other employment comes in the form of trucking/transportation; food /beverage suppliers; security; fuel/water suppliers; taxis/Uber/Lyft; Mobile Bay Bar Pilots; tugboat operators; and Carnival support and logistics personnel.

Should President Biden support a phased approach to reopening U.S. ports to cruise ships, I am confident the Mobile Alabama Cruise Ship Terminal will successfully meet this challenge. The terminal staff is already familiar with established safety and health best practices. They are ideally equipped and can quickly establish protocols to mitigate the introduction and spread of the Coronavirus. Additionally, based on the close relationships with the local medical community, testing facilities, and health department, Mobile and it’s terminal is optimally supported and positioned for success.”

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