Over the weekend, Carnival Corporation received approval on their port agreements from the CDC to sail from Miami, Galveston and Port Canaveral as they begin the road to recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. Carnival previously announced that Carnival Horizon (sailing from Miami) and Carnival Vista and Breeze (sailing from Galveston) will be the first ships to carry guests as the cruise line plans its July return to service. There are no concrete sail dates yet, however.
“These agreements move us one step closer to sailing with our loyal guests,” said Lars Ljoen, executive vice president and chief maritime officer for Carnival Cruise Line. “We appreciate the support from not just these three homeport partners, but all of our homeports, that are eager to have us back as soon as possible.”
The agreement with each port must demonstrate that they are prepared to support the cruise operator with additional public health and operational resources prior to the implementation of simulated cruise and/or full guest operations.
Carnival joins Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises as the only cruise lines approved to sail by the CDC. We would expect Norwegian Cruise Line will join their peers soon as well.
Port Canaveral a Priority
Port Canaveral has also been identified as a restart priority for the cruise line, and Carnival expects to announce plans for operations from there soon. In just a few days, Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship Mardi Gras is set to arrive at Port Canaveral, though it will be a few more months before guests can actually step on board. The ship is scheduled to begin passenger cruises sometime in August.
In preparation for the new ship, the port and cruise line collaborated on a brand new terminal as well as all the necessary upgrades to accomodate a ship powered by Liquified Natural Gas.