Carnival Corp said at the weekend that it would now be postponing voyages until May. Its move followed similar announcements last week from Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Carnival has paused its US departures through to April 30th, and has cancelled Australian operations until May 19th.
The company said that it was facing ongoing uncertainty and a general lack of instructions on how to proceed regarding the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order framework. That, added to the Covid-19 pandemic seeing faster-spreading mutations, left it with no choice but to postpone voyages beyond their previously hoped-for restart dates.
The cancellation of means that Europe will not see the maiden arrival of Panama-flagged 181,808 gt Mardi Gras (IMO 9837444) before it sets off on its rescheduled inaugural cruise on May 29th. Malta-flagged 85,942 gt Carnival Legend (IMO 9224726) will not be visiting Europe before the end of October.
Cruises will not be leaving from US ports before the CDC provides the industry with a clear directive on how to proceed. Any resumption would include test sailings. When asked by a financial analyst why these test cruises had not taken place yet, Carnival Corp President and CEO Donald Arnold said that “we’ve started to bring ships back into the US and are meeting the criteria put out there to be in a position to then subsequently do test cruises. But to give you a specific timing on the test cruises, we would need additional guidance from the CDC”.