After the CDC extended the No Sail Order for all US cruises until the end of October, Carnival announced that all US voyages for November and December would be cancelled, except those departing from Port Canaveral and Miami.
The cruise line’s inclusion of the two primary US cruise ports suggests there has been some development in plans to resume cruising in a limited capacity later in the year, from select embarkation ports.
Cruise line executives were due to meet with officials at the White House on Friday, but those plans were disrupted by US President Donald Trump’s announcement that he and the First Lady Melania Trump have contracted coronavirus.
Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL and MSC have been pushing for the CDC to allow a European-style limited resumption of cruises from Miami and Port Canaveral, and Friday’s meeting was intended to allow them to present health and safety plans to officials.
While operations from Miami and Port Canaveral in November and December are still not certain, Carnival said, it is focusing its initial return to service from those two homeports, whenever that might occur.
“As we have said throughout this pause, our return to operations will be gradual and phased in,” Carnival said in a statement. “And while we are not making any presumptions, once cruising is allowed, we will center our initial start-up from the homeports of Miami and Port Canaveral.”
Carnival said it is continuing 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.
Two of parent company Carnival Corporation’s brands (AIDA and Costa) have successfully resumed cruises in the Mediterranean with strict social distancing, testing, and hygiene measures in place, which have proven effective thus far.
“The health and safety of our guests, crew and communities we serve remain the cornerstone of our plans and decisions,” said Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line.
“The patience and support of our guests and travel agent partners have been a huge motivation to our team as we have worked through this unprecedented situation and we are dedicated to getting back to operations when the time is right,” she added.
Cruises currently scheduled for November and December from Miami and Port Canaveral will remain in place for the time being while Carnival evaluates options, the cruise line said.
The cruise line’s parent company Carnival Corporation has scheduled a conference call with analysts for Thursday, October 8th, 2020 to provide a business update on refunds, cashflow, booking, the demand environment and an outlook for 2021.