In a major reversal of course amid the coronavirus pandemic, Carnival Cruise Line now says it will cancel all North American travel through September 30.
In May, Carnival announced that it would resume services from Galveston beginning August 1. Galveston would be just one of three ports nationwide resuming service, including Miami and Port Canaveral in Florida.
But that was May, and as the travel industry is besieged by the onslaught of COVID-19, Carnival announced on June 22 that ships would stay docked throughout North America through September 30.
“During this unprecedented pause in our business, we have continued to assess the operating environment and confer with public health, government and industry officials,” Carnival Cruise Line president, Christine Duffy, said in a letter to guests and travel agents.
“We have watched with great interest as commerce, travel and personal activities have begun to start back up, and once we do resume service, we will take all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we bring our ships to in order to maintain public confidence in our business,” Duffy continued in the letter. “Nevertheless, we apologize for disrupting your vacation plans and appreciate your patience as we work through these decisions.”
Initially, Carnival announced a voluntary 30-day pause in operations on March 13, and has since extended that pause three times. The cruise line is currently completing the repatriation of nearly 29,000 crew members to more than 100 nations who serve its fleet of 27 ships, per a press release.
As with previous cancellation announcements, Carnival is allowing customers to rebook with an offer that includes a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) and either a $300 or $600 Onboard Credit (OBC) in order to move travel to a later date.
Guests can also opt for a full ticket refund via a fully automated system. Those opting for a rebooking or credit have until May 31, 2021 to make a selection, per Carnival.
“We appreciate the patience and support of our loyal guests, and recognize how much they want to get back to cruising,” added Duffy, in the statement. “When the time is right, our outstanding onboard team will be waiting to welcome them back and give them the great vacation that they deserve.”