Carnival Cruise Line has received approval from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to resume cruising from several US ports this summer.
The CDC gave acceptance of Carnival Cruise Line’s Phase 2A Port Agreements for PortMiami, Port of Galveston and Port Canaveral – all key homeports for Carnival Cruise Line’s restart plans.
The ports are the three that Carnival Cruise Line has focused on in its cruise resumption plans for the summer, meaning that a major hurdle to the cruise line’s restart plans has now been cleared.
“These agreements move us one step closer to sailing with our loyal guests,” said Lars Ljoen, Executive Vice President & Chief Maritime Officer for Carnival Cruise Line.
“We appreciate the support from not just these three homeport partners, but all of our homeports, that are eager to have us back as soon as possible,” he added in his statement.
Carnival has already announced that Carnival Horizon (sailing from Miami) and Carnival Vista and Breeze (sailing from Galveston) will be the first ships to carry guests as the line plans its July return to service.
Port Canaveral has also been identified as a restart port. Carnival Cruise Line expects to announce restart plans for the port in the coming days, the company said in a press release.
The announcement by Carnival Cruise Line follows Celebrity Cruises announcement this week that it was the first cruise line to receive restart approval from the CDC.
Celebrity Cruises will be the first cruise line to resume cruises from a US port when Celebrity Edge begins her Caribbean season out of Port Canaveral on June 26th.
The developments are a sure sign that the US cruise industry is poised for a comeback after more than a year of a complete shutdown of cruises in the world’s largest cruise market.
For the past few weeks there have been growing signs of a thaw between the CDC and the US cruise industry. The CDC shut down the industry in March, and since late 2020 there had been mounting calls for the No Sail Order to be revised.
The CDC ultimately cancelled the No Sail Order and introduced the Conditional Sailing Order in its place, a framework through which every US-based cruise ship would need to be individually assessed for a return to cruise service.
However, with overly-strict and oftentimes contradictory regulations contained within it, the Conditional Sailing Order was roundly criticised by cruise lines and industry observers.
This led the CDC to streamline many of its regulations, especially for fully vaccinated guests and cruise lines implementing a vaccine mandate.