Carnival Cruise Line has extended its cancellations of departures from the United States through the end of March, citing the ongoing health challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The company is still hoping to take a gradual, phased approach to put ships back in service in 2021. But, as COVID-19 cases spike, upcoming sailings have been halted.
In addition to stopping all embarkations from U.S. ports up to and including March 31, Carnival will also cancel the following cruises:
- Carnival Freedom from Galveston: Up to and including April 10, 2021
- Carnival Miracle from San Diego and San Francisco: Up to and including Sept. 16, 2021
- Carnival Liberty from Port Canaveral: From Sept. 17 - Oct. 18, 2021
- Carnival Sunshine from Charleston: From Oct. 11 - Nov. 13, 2021
The cruise line said impacted guests should keep an eye on their emails for more details soon.
"As we confer with industry partners and regulators on the protocols and procedures that will guide our operations when we resume sailing, we will continue to make information available at carnival.com/health-and-sailing-updates," the company wrote in a statement.
The cruise line industry has been essentially shut down since mid-March 2020 when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordered cruise ships to stop sailing to U.S. ports after several outbreaks convinced officials that the vessels were potential cauldrons of infection. After being renewed several times, the most recent order expired in October 2020, with the new guidelines effectively bringing the no-sail order to an end.
The CDC's new cruising guidelines say that in order to resume carrying passengers, the companies have to demonstrate they have procedures for testing, quarantining and isolating passengers and crew. They will have to build test labs on all ships and make their own arrangements to isolate or quarantine passengers on shore, if needed. Before being allowed to sail, they will have to conduct mock voyages with volunteers playing passengers who get sick, the CDC said.
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