Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
Anchors aweigh… sort of.
Carnival Cruise Line announced its first phase in resuming service for some its North America voyages — while further extending a “pause” in operations for all other North American and Australian cruises.
“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,” the cruise line outlined in a press release issued Monday.
As part of its first “phase-in” of service, Carnival confirmed plans to resume cruises on eight of its ships as of Aug. 1. The liners include the Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista, out of Galveston, Texas; the Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic and Carnival Sensation, out of Miami; and the Carnival Breeze and Carnival Elation, out of Port Canaveral, out of Brevard County, Fla.
Along with news of resuming select operations, Carnival Cruise Line further extended cancellations for its other scheduled voyages, which had originally only been canceled through June 26.
“Other than the above referenced service from Galveston, Miami, and Port Canaveral, all other North American and Australian homeport cruises will be canceled through August 31,” the press release reads.
Carnival also canceled several planned sailings on the Carnival Spirit, including those from Seattle to Alaska, those from Vancouver to Hawaii, and a trans-Pacific sailing between Hawaii and Australia.
Passengers impacted by the further cancellations will be able to request refunds via the company’s website, where there are also options to put the value of a voyage toward a future sailing with bonus onboard credits.
Carnival is one of the first major cruise lines to officially announce details of its first sailings following coronavirus-prompted suspensions of service. Several other companies have announced tentative dates on which they plan to resume service.
Meanwhile, the Carnival Corporation’s response to the coronavirus is currently being investigated by a committee with the U.S. House of Representatives.
“In order to gain a better understanding of how Carnival intends to protect passengers and crew once vessels resume sailing, we request that you provide the Committee with the information Carnival Corporation cruise lines had, and when, regarding potential infections, public health implications, and possible exposure of its passengers and crew to COVID-19,” reads a May 1 letter sent by the Committee on Transpiration and Infrastructure to Carnival CEO Arnold Donald, in part. The committee is also looking to review “the decisions made by Carnival Corporation and its various affiliated lines regarding the health and safety of their passengers and crew.”