Carnival Cruise Line is in talks with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is “working towards” restarting sailing in July, the cruise line’s president Christine Duffy said yesterday in an interview with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt.
Duffy said the CDC “has come back to the table with us, and in early spring, I think, in earnest with us and with other inner-agency groups, to really get clear on what guidelines and protocols are going to be required for us to sail again from U.S. ports.”
Meantime, outside the U.S., seven other Carnival brands — AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises (UK) — will resume sailings from global ports over the next several months. They will be using a gradual, phased-in approach, including limited itineraries that have been announced on 16 initial ships to date, representing nearly 20% of the company’s global fleet. The initial cruises will take place with adjusted passenger capacity and enhanced health protocols developed in conjunction with government and health authorities, and informed by guidance from the company’s public health, epidemiological and policy experts.
Three Carnival Corporation brands—P&O Cruises (UK), Cunard and Princess Cruises—will each offer a series of cruises this summer sailing around U.K. coastal waters, including the inaugural sailing for P&O Cruises’ new flagship, Iona. Cruises will also resume this summer around the Greek Islands with four of the company’s brands—AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line and Seabourn. Additionally, Seabourn has announced plans to restart in the Caribbean with a series of new summer sailings out of Barbados.
The newly announced voyages build on recent cruising restarts from the company’s Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand, which, in late March, resumed sailing in the Canary Islands, and its Italy-based Costa Cruises brand, which restarted in May sailing to Italian ports.
In addition to dozens of successful sailings from both brands in 2020, says Carival Corporation, the most recent 2021 sailings from AIDA and Costa have demonstrated the effectiveness of enhanced health protocols developed in conjunction with local, national and global experts, and have generated high guest satisfaction scores, measured by detailed surveys.
“For all of our brands, our highest responsibility and top priorities are always compliance, environmental protection, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, our shipboard and shoreside employees, and the communities we visit,” said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. “We are excited to have the majority of our leading cruise line brands resume sailings this summer, as we are seeing strong pent-up demand from our past guests and consumers in general to get away on a cruise, one of the world’s most popular vacations.”
Added Frizzell: “The resumption of our cruises marks a critical step in the recovery of our brands and the industry as a whole, which provides a major economic impact and supports jobs across multiple sectors around the world. As our cruise line brands gradually resume cruising, we will continue to work as an industry to share important learnings and best practices to help ensure the resumption of cruise operations is done in the best interest of public health.”