Some Carnival Cruise Ships to Resume Sailings in Caribbean, Europe

Company hopes to resume certain sailings from Miami in July

NBC Universal, Inc.

Several Carnival Corporation brands will begin cruising this summer from ports in the Caribbean and Europe, as the company hopes to begin sailings from Miami in July.

AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises will begin resuming sailings from global ports over the next several months, the Miami-based company announced Monday.

The company said it's working with authorities to resume sailings in the U.S., and hopes to begin operations on three ships out of PortMiami and Galveston, Texas in July.

Cruises operating out of Europe and the Caribbean will take place with adjusted passenger capacity and enhanced health protocols, the company said.

"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."

Cruise lines have been barred from sailing in U.S. waters or stopping at U.S. ports since March 2020, early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Some are slowly resuming trips in other countries and requiring that all passengers on those cruises be vaccinated.

The companies are pushing the CDC to let them return the U.S. this summer, although none of the major companies — Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Group and Carnival Corp. — have announced any U.S. cruises.

New guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would let ships skip practice voyages and begin trips with paying customers if 98% of the crew and 95% of passengers are vaccinated and ships take other measures to limit the risk of transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19.

Last month, the state of Florida filed a lawsuit against the federal government demanding that cruise ships be allowed to start sailing immediately.

In announcing the lawsuit, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the no-sail order is outdated and hurts the state as the industry generates billions for the economy and employs tens of thousands of Floridians.

DeSantis has maintained the ban disproportionally impacts Florida and has said that cruising has resumed in much of the world, forcing Americans to fly to other ports in the nearby Bahamas. Industry leaders say there have been no new outbreaks tied to their ships.

Earlier this month, Miami-based Norwegian threatened to keep its ships out of Florida after DeSantis signed legislation banning businesses from requiring that customers show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

The company said the law signed by DeSantis is at odds with guidelines from federal health authorities that would let cruise ships sail in U.S. waters if nearly all passengers and crew members are vaccinated.

DeSantis said the order and the legislation were matters of preserving individual freedom and privacy.

NBC 6 and AP
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