As it continues to work its way toward meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requirements for a healthy return to sailing, Carnival Cruise Line on Friday announced that it would be extending its pause in operations for U.S. departures through at least April and cancelling its Australian operations through May 19.
As part of the announcement, Carnival said that Mardi Gras, its newest ship and one of the most anticipated debuts for the cruise line in recent years, to May 29 (it had been scheduled for late April).
All booked guests and their travel advisors are being notified directly by Carnival with refund and cruise credit options included.
“Our guests and travel agent partners continue to express their loyalty to Carnival and their desire to get back on our ships as soon as they can, and we are heartened by the booking demand and activity we continue to see,” Carnival president Christine Duffy said in the statement announcing the extension.
“We are certainly committed to welcoming them back as quickly as possible, but unfortunately we have determined it’s going to take a while longer, and the situation in Europe will also impact Mardi Gras’ departure to the U.S., and Carnival Legend’s itineraries in Europe.”
Despite the shutdown, Carnival is continuing to build out the rest of its fleet. Last week, Carnival announced that the first steel was cut for the new Carnival Celebration, a sister-ship to Carnival Mardi Gras, which is scheduled to start sailing from PortMiami in November 2022.
The ceremony took place at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland with Carnival senior vice president of new builds Ben Clement and Meyer Turku’s CEO Tim Meyer on hand.
“The steel-cutting ceremony marks the beginning of yet another exciting chapter for Carnival Cruise Line. Not only will Carnival Celebration feature signature amenities from Mardi Gras, but [it] will usher in a new ear for Carnival Cruise Line with some special innovations created just for her that we’re sure our guests will enjoy,” Carnival president Christine Duffy said.