The cruise industry is moving full steam ahead.
So much so, Carnival Cruise Line has announced it is adding four more ships in October—bringing the total number of ships to 15—as the line's restart of operations continues to ramp up.
The three ships for September are Carnival Glory from New Orleans, starting Sept. 5, Carnival Pride from Baltimore, starting Sept. 12, and Carnival Dream from Galveston, starting Sept. 19. Turning to October, the four additional ships to restart will be Carnival Conquest from Miami, effective Oct. 8, Carnival Freedom from Miami, effective Oct. 9, Carnival Elation from Port Canaveral, effective Oct. 11, and Carnival Sensation from Mobile, effective Oct. 21.
“We are very excited about our restart and greatly appreciate the support of our guests, travel agents, and port and destination partners,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “By the end of July, we will have five ships in our restart plan, including the introduction of service on Mardi Gras, and we are seeing a great combination of strong demand and strong guest satisfaction scores tied to the positive guest experience onboard.”
Carnival said it will continue to operate all its ships as vaccinated cruises through at least October, “based on the success of its initial resumption of service and the guest response to the onboard experience and health and safety protocols that have been implemented.”
Unvaccinated guests will be welcome on board, but all unvaccinated guests including children under the age of 12 will be subject to pre-cruise and pre-embarkation testing and testing again prior to debarkation on cruises longer than four days, along with a $150 per person charge to cover the costs of testing, reporting and health, and safety screenings.
Unvaccinated guests departing from Florida, effective July 31, and Texas, effective Aug. 2, will also need to show proof of travel insurance coverage, based on the itineraries being sailed and the requirements of ports and destinations visited.
These additional measures will be in place through at least October but may be extended based on guidance from public health and medical advisors and the requirements of destination partners.
“The decision to sail with vaccinated voyages was a difficult one to make, and we recognize this is disappointing to some of our guests especially the many families with children under the age of 12 who we love to sail, and who love to sail with us,” said Duffy. “It’s important to remember that this is a temporary measure given the current circumstances."
Carnival is also notifying guests and travel agents of an extension in its pause of operations through Sept. 5 for Carnival Pride from Baltimore, Sept. 11 for Carnival Dream from Galveston, Oct. 4 for Carnival Conquest from Miami, and Oct. 16 for Carnival Sensation from Mobile.
Cruises on Carnival Sunshine from Charleston, Carnival Ecstasy from Jacksonville, and Carnival Liberty from Port Canaveral will be canceled through Oct. 31. In addition, a three-day cruise on Carnival Miracle from Long Beach on Sept. 24 is being canceled, and then Carnival Miracle will begin sailing from Long Beach on Sept. 27.
Carnival Corp. ramps up fleet capacity
Overall, it’s part of Carnival Corporation’s plan to resume guest cruise operations with 65% of its total fleet capacity by the end of 2021 across eight of its cruise line brands—AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises, and Seabourn. With Carnival Cruise Line's entire fleet expected to return to service by the end of 2021, it would further increase Carnival Corporation's total operating capacity to nearly 75% by the end of the year.
Princess Cruises will resume guest cruise operations this weekend with its first ship sailing from Seattle to Alaska and will expand with a series of cruises around UK coastal waters in late July, as well as cruises out of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii and California coast in the fall, with eight total ships, expected to be in operation by the end of the year.
Holland America Line will resume guest cruise operations this weekend with its first ship sailing from Seattle to Alaska, followed by sailings from Greece in August, and from Italy and Spain in September, as well as sailings to Mexico, Hawaii, the California coast, and the Caribbean this fall for a total of six ships expected to be in operation by the end of the year.
Seabourn resumed guest cruise operations with two ships to date sailing from Greece and Barbados and plans to begin the Antarctica season in November with a third ship.
Costa Cruises resumed guest cruise operations in May with sailings in Italy and Greece, and the line is now offering sailings to France and Spain, to be followed by sailings to Portugal and Turkey in September for a total of seven ships expected to be sailing in the Mediterranean by the end of the year.
AIDA Cruises resumed guest cruise operations in March sailing in the Canary Islands and in May with sailings in Greece and Germany. The line is now offering additional sailings out of Germany as well as upcoming sailings in Spain, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands and the Persian Gulf from late July to December for a total of nine ships expected to be in operation by the end of the year.
P&O Cruises in the UK resumed guest cruise operations with a series of summer sailings around UK coastal waters that started in June and plans to expand to the Mediterranean, the Atlantic coast, and the Caribbean starting in September for a total of four ships expected to be in operation by the end of the year.
Cunard will resume guest cruise operations in August with one ship sailing UK coastal cruises, followed by sailings to the Iberian coast and Canary Islands, and plans to expand with a second ship returning to service in November with a combination of transatlantic crossings and Caribbean cruises.