Carnival Cruise Lines is already planning to set sail even as a federal order bars the crew on some of its ships from disembarking in the U.S. because of coronavirus concerns.
The embattled cruise operator said Monday that it will resume service on its North Americans lines on August 1. Starting August 1, a total of eight Carnival ships will operate from three U.S. cities, the company said:
- Galveston, Texas: Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Vista
- Miami: Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic, Carnival Sensation
- Port Canaveral, Florida: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Elation.
The eight ships are scheduled to make stops in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Mexico, among other places. All of Carnival’s other North American and Australian cruises are canceled through August 31.
“We are committed to supporting all public health efforts to manage the COVID-19 situation,” the company said in a news release. “We are taking a measured approach, focusing our return to service on a select number of homeports where we have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of our guests.”
Carnival and other cruise lines have been forced to halt passenger service because of COVID-19, which has killed nearly 68,000 Americans. More than 1,500 people on Carnival ships were infected with the virus, and dozens died, according to Bloomberg.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control in April extended a “no sail order” for all cruise ships, saying the step was necessary to protect Americans.
The order prohibits cruise ship workers from staying in a hotel, using public transportation, taking a commercial airline flight or interacting with the public for 14 days upon arrival on land, CBS News’ Kris Van Cleave reports. The Coast Guard is monitoring 120 cruise ships in U.S. waters with about 80,000 crew members.
Carnival shares have fallen 73% this year to $13.74. And the waters could remain choppy for Carnival after a House of Representatives panel on Monday announced a probe into the company’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak on its ships.
“While cruises are often viewed as a care-free escape from reality where passengers can dine, dance, relax and mingle, we would hope that the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic will place a renewed emphasis on public health and passenger safety, but frankly that has not been seen up to this point,” Representative Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon who is chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, wrote in a May 1 letter to Carnival CEO Arnold Donald.
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