Carnival fans wanting to set sail again are going to have to wait a little longer.
The cruise line announced it is suspending all its trips through September 30, 2020. Previously, the cruise line had planned to return August 1.
On Friday, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced that all of its members — which include major names like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line — were voluntarily suspending new cruises from the United States until September 15. Now, Carnival has decided to add another two weeks to that return date.
According to the cruise line:
On Friday, the cruise industry announced that it would voluntarily extend its pause in North America through September 15. Carnival Cruise Line is now cancelling all cruises through September 30. We have watched with great interest as commerce, travel and personal activities have begun to start back up, and once we do resume service, we will take all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we bring our ships to in order to maintain public confidence in our business.
In addition, all of the following trips are also cancelled:
- All San Francisco sailings through 2020
- All Carnival Sunrise sailings through and including October 19, 2020
- All Carnival Legend sailings through and including October 30, 2020
- All Carnival Radiance sailings through and including November 1, 2020
- All Carnival Spirit Alaska, Hawaii, & Trans-Pacific sailings through and including October 6, 2020
Passengers booked on a cancelled trip have the choice of either a 100% refund, or a 100% cruise credit for a future sailing, plus up to $600 in onboard credit, depending on length of their original cruise.
This extension marks yet another delay in the return to cruising in the face of the ongoing health crisis. Carnival, like many other cruise lines, stopped new cruises back in mid-March. If they are able to return after September, it will mark six-and-a-half months that the cruise line will go without sailing.
Of course, this new sailing date is by no means a guarantee. Before cruises can sail again, the CDC must lift its “No Sail Order.” As well, cruise lines must be confident that they can keep passengers healthy as well.
Unfortunately, the number of cases in the United States has started to increase again, even as many other countries have been able to drastically reduce their number of cases.
While Carnival says it is still developing plans to keep passengers healthy for its return to cruising, several cruise lines have announced changes to their operations for whenever they do return. This includes major steps like increased sanitation, air filtration, temperature checks, and even COVID tests on the ship.
Whenever Carnival and other cruise lines get back to sailing, it’s obvious that cruising will look very different. We just don’t know exactly when that will be.