Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) is to resume in its North American cruise operation in phases from 1st August.
From that date, eight cruise ships will offer cruises from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston, the company said.
CCL also said that all other North American and Australian cruises will be stopped through August 31.
All North American cruises are cancelled from 27th June to 31st July.
Starting 1st August, CCL plans to resume cruises on the following ships:
*Galveston – ’Carnival Dream’, ‘Carnival Freedom’ and ‘Carnival Vista’.
*Miami – ‘Carnival Horizon’, ‘Carnival Magic’ and ‘Carnival Sensation’.
*Port Canaveral – ’Carnival Breeze’ and ‘Carnival Elation’.
All ‘Carnival Spirit’ Alaskan cruises from Seattle are cancelled, as well as her Vancouver/Honolulu cruise on 25th September and also the Honolulu/Brisbane transpacific cruise on 6th October.
In addition, all ‘Carnival Splendor’ Australian cruises from 19th June to 31st August are cancelled.
CCL said in a statement; “We are committed to supporting all public health efforts to manage the COVID-19 situation. We are taking a measured approach, focusing our return to service on a select number of homeports where we have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of our guests.
“We will use this additional time to continue to engage experts, government officials and stakeholders on additional protocols and procedures to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve.
“We appreciate the understanding and support of our guests and travel agent partners and look forward to welcoming them on board as the environment for travel and tourism improves,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, US Congress is to investigate Carnival Corp over its response to the coronavirus pandemic. A House committee is to ask why Carnival didn’t act sooner to protect the health of its passengers and staff.
The House Committee Chair on Transportation and Infrastructure, Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and the House Sub-committee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Chair, Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), initiated a records request with regard to the response of the Carnival Corp, and its nine affiliated cruise lines, to the coronavirus pandemic.
Both Chairs sent letters requesting relevant documents to Carnival Corp, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Coast Guard.
Among the items included in the letters, DeFazio and Maloney said that they wanted information about decisions the company made regarding the health and safety of its passengers and crew amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including a copy of the company’s fleetwide Outbreak Prevention and Response Plans in effect starting 1st January, 2020.
DeFazio and Maloney expressed concerns that Carnival was failing to appropriately acknowledge public health concerns in its public-facing materials, writing, “While cruises are often viewed as a care-free escape from reality where passengers can dine, dance, relax, and mingle, we would hope that the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic will place a renewed emphasis on public health and passenger safety, but frankly that has not been seen up to this point.
“In fact, it seems as though Carnival Corp and its portfolio of nine cruise lines, which represents 109 cruise ships, is still trying to sell this cruise line fantasy and ignoring the public health threat posed by coronavirus to potential future passengers and crew,” the letters said.
The US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has broad jurisdiction over maritime transportation issues, including those issues related to passenger vessels and various international treaties, including the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
In addition, DeFazio and Maloney sent records requests to the CDC and the USCG for their respective correspondence with Carnival about these matters.
Concerns raised by the outbreak on the ‘Diamond Princess’ in March, in which more than 800 people were infected and 10 people died.
Quoting a Bloomberg report, DeFazio noted that at least nine of Carnival Corp’s ships had coronavirus outbreaks with at least 39 deaths and more than 1,500 confirmed infections.
When travel restrictions are eventually lifted, DeFazio said Congress and the public needs assurances that CCL and the cruise line industry “are instituting necessary measures to ensure that the safety of the travelling public and crew members.”
In response, Carnival said it will co-operate with the investigation.
In a statement, it said, “Our goal is the same as the committee’s goal: to protect the health, safety and well-being of our guests and crew, along with compliance and environmental protection.”