Carnival Cruise Line threatened to move its ships out of U.S. waters on Tuesday after canceling all additional cruises from U.S. ports until June 30.
“While we have no plans to move the Carnival Cruise Line ships out of our US home ports, we may have no choice but to do so in order to resume our operations which are on “hiatus” for over a year, “Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement provided by spokesperson Vance Gulliksen.
Carnival has 14 home ports along the east and west coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico in the United States, Gulliksen said.
“We remain committed to working with the administration and the CDC to find a viable solution that best serves the interests of public health,” Duffy said in the statement, adding that Carnival calls for “the cruise industry to be addressed. on an equal footing “with other sectors of the travel industry” as well as American society as a whole “.
The threat follows new guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, detailing the second phase of its conditional navigation order – which the cruise industry had pushed the agency to lift the previous week.
While there has been new information on what benchmarks cruise lines must meet before re-carrying paying passengers, it was not clear when the cruise will be able to restart in U.S. waters.
One year without a cruise: No ‘crystal ball’ to say when navigation could restart amid COVID-19
The cruise industry has been shut down in U.S. waters since March of last year, while other sectors have been allowed to continue operating or reopen with health and safety changes, including airlines aerials and theme parks.
But more than a year later, there is no “crystal ball” that can tell when the sail might restart, saidKelly Craighead, President and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association, the industry’s leading trading group.
“I couldn’t begin to speculate on why the cruise industry is being presented as other industries,” Craighead told USA TODAY in February.
Other cruise lines have already taken steps to move their ships to other parts of the world in order to resume operations.
On Tuesday, Norwegian Cruise Line announced that its official return to service will begin in July in Europe and the Caribbean. And last month, Royal Caribbean International announced crossings to Israel, Bermuda and the Bahamas and its sister line, Celebrity Cruises, added itineraries for St. Maarten – all with specific vaccine requirements.
Carnival said it is notifying passengers whose cruises have been canceled and is offering options for future cruise credit with additional onboard credits or a full refund.
Plan B: Norwegian Cruise Line will resume sailing to Europe and the Caribbean at the end of the summer