Carnival Cruise Line Extends Pause
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that it is cancelling more cruises, extending its current pause in North American operations. Carnival now plans to resume sailing on June 27, 2020, a month to six weeks later than the majority of the cruise industry.
The announcement came as a surprise, as just two weeks earlier, Carnival Cruise Line and the other major cruise lines had targeted mid-May for the resumption of service. It was unclear, however, if Carnival’s move was in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s April 9, 2020 announced extension of the No Sail Order for all cruise ships.
In making the announcement, Carnival Cruise Line stressed its concern for health and safety saying in a prepared statement, “We are actively engaged with the industry and our stakeholders on additional protocols that we will be implementing when we resume service. We are dedicated to maintaining confidence in our commitment to protecting the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve.” In the interim, Carnival said it would be focusing on the well-being of its crew and “continue to bring non-essential crew home.”
None of the other major cruise lines, including the other brands owned by Carnival Corporation, immediately responded to or followed Carnival’s announcement. Instead, at the end of last week, Holland America Line, for example, released a statement saying it was aware of the CDC recommendation and, “We are assessing this against our most recent planning and will be sharing more specific details next week.”
Prior to the CDC’s announcement, Norwegian Cruise Line had made some small adjustments to its plans, canceled sailings between May 10 and 14, saying that it planned to recommence operations beginning May 15, 2020. The majority of the industry was targeting a similar date, while Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises had suspended cruises through the end of May and Viking Cruises through the end of June. Some ports around the world, such as in Canada and Singapore, have also announced that they would be closed until July or social distancing regulations were relaxed.
In additional to delaying date for its first cruises, Carnival has also canceled scheduled sailings from San Francisco, New York City, and in Europe for 2020. The launch of the Carnival Radiance, which is being converted from the Carnival Victory, is also being delayed until November 2020.
Last week’s actions by the CDC had cast uncertainty regarding when cruise ships would be permitted to resume sailing from the United States or carrying American passengers.