The company announced Monday that Carnival Cruise Line plans to resume the cruises on August 1. Eight of its 27 ships will start cruising in August from ports in Florida and Texas, the company said, while all other cruises will remain canceled until at least August 31. Previously the company had said it would cancel all cruises by June 26.
The first vessels to return to cruising will be the Carnival Horizon of Miami, Carnival Magic and Carnival Sensation, Carnival Breeze of Port Canaveral, and Carnival Elation outside Orlando, and Galveston, Carnival Hope of Texas, Carnival Liberty, and Carnival Vista.
Both Seattle Carnival Spirit cruises in Alaska will be canceled, as will the Vancouver-Honolulu Carnival Spirit cruise on September 25 and the transpacific Honolulu-Brisbane cruise on October 6.
The cruise industry initially canceled new cruises on March 13 after repeated outbreaks of COVID-19 on its ships, followed by a US no-sail order. Disease Control and Prevention Centres.
The CDC extended its no-sail order for the industry on April 9, citing continuing COVID-19 outbreaks among crew members, prohibiting cruises until at least July 24, or until the COVID-19 pandemic is deemed over. The order also needs businesses to notify the CDC whether they are sanitizing ships, reporting the number of COVID-19 cases regularly, checking for COVID-19, staffing ships with adequate doctors and supplies, transporting critically ill people privately, and repatriating nonessential employees.
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Carnival Cruise spokesperson Line Vance Gulliksen said the firm is working on a series of procedures to secure passengers and crew. “We’re using this extended break to start developing a robust collection of guest, crew, and community health and safety protocols,” he said via email.
Genting Cruise Line revealed in April that it is planning for a host of post-pandemic improvements when cruises take off again. Which include requesting a doctor’s note from passengers over 70, infrared fever detectors on gangways, face masks for all members of the passenger-facing crew, and disinfecting common-area as much as every two hours.
On a press call on April 15, Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Cruise Line’s parent company, Carnival Corporation, said it was too early to decide which procedures were needed to prevent disease outbreaks on the company’s ships.
“We know absolutely not,” he said. “We’ll have to let society take its course in deciding how it’s going to cope with an environment that has COVID in it for a while before a vaccine is created. We should be compliant. We’ll have medical experts who determine what the course of action will be.
A Miami Herald investigation found that at least 2,787 cruise passengers and crew were infected with the disease, and at least 74 died from it. At least 57 cruise ships, more than one-fifth of the ocean cruise fleet, are related to COVID-19 incidents.
The decision to continue cruising comes up again as the U.S. The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is looking into the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by Carnival Corporation. The committee has asked the company to begin producing pandemic-related internal documents beginning on May 15.