Carnival Cruise Line Cancels November Cruises as Hope Fades for 2020
Carnival Cruise Line has become the latest of the major cruise lines to further extend its cancelation of cruises for the North American cruise market. With the major cruise lines canceling sailings into December 2020, hope is increasingly fading for a return to cruise service this year.
Carnival Cruise Line had previously canceled cruises for the remainder of 2020 except for six cruise ships scheduled to sail from PortMiami and Port Canaveral, both located in Florida. At the time, the company had cautioned that it was still evaluating the situation and would keep passengers apprised.
Cruises from PortMiami and Port Canaveral have now been canceled for November 2020. In addition, the line’s statement said, “Carnival continues to work on protocols and procedures that would allow for the resumption of cruise operations, with a gradual, phased-in approach, designating Miami and Port Canaveral as the first two homeports for embarkations. Cruises currently scheduled for December from those two homeports remain in place for the time being while Carnival evaluates options,” raising concern that the remainder of the 2020 North American cruise program could be canceled.
Carnival Cruise Line, also announced that it has canceled five cruises scheduled to operate from Sydney, Australia from January 16 to February 8, 2021. Those trips had been scheduled for the Carnival Splendor.
In canceling the remainder of its November cruises, Carnival Cruise Line joins the other largest cruise companies, including Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and MSC Cruises, each of which extended their cruise pause for November in the North American market. Carnival Corporation’s CEO Arnold Donald has often said that the progress of the coronavirus and when people would feel comfortable to travel would determine when cruises would resume.
The delay in resuming cruises from the United States comes despite reports of a positive meeting between cruise line executives and the U.S.’s coronavirus task force. The meeting had been delayed a week due to the outbreak of the virus at the White House, but last Friday Vice President Mike Pence reportedly thanked the industry for its health and safety initiatives and said he looked forward to the time when cruising could resume from U.S. ports.
While cruises remain paused in North America, in other parts of the world cruise ships are resuming sailing. Costa Cruises added its third ship to service in the Mediterranean along with MSC Cruises which has been operating since August. TUI continues to operate both sailing from Germany and now Greece for residents of Germany. Last week, Singapore announced it had approved short cruises to nowhere to begin in November and December on a trial basis aboard ships from Genting's Dream Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.
Additional areas of the world are also expecting cruising to resume. Japan’s NYK Cruises is reportedly preparing to start offering short cruises for the Japanese market. The French company Ponant has also petitioned New Zealand to begin cruises on one of its smaller expedition cruise ships for New Zealand’s summer season.
The continuing outbreaks of the virus and fears of potential spread, however, has prevented even the small cruise lines from restarting cruises sailing from the United States.