Carnival Cruise Line suspends all US sailings through January

Cruise company carefully navigates its return to the seas

Bon voyage, 2021.

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Carnival Cruise Line has officially suspended all U.S. sailings through January 2021, as the cruise company carefully navigates its return to the seas amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

Carnival announced the news in a Wednesday memo, citing a continued focus on the development of plans to meet the "Framework for Resuming Cruise Ship Operations Order" set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Oct. 30. The CDC guidance stipulates how cruise ships can restart operations in phases, stressing the enhanced health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to passengers, crew members and communities where the ships travel.

Carnival's Freedom cruise ship anchored in the Caribbean Sea. (iStock)

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With all sailings from U.S. homeports canceled from Jan 1 through 31, the Carnival Corp. subsidiary has also delayed embarkations from Baltimore, Md.; Charleston, S.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Long Beach, Calif.; Mobile, Ala.; New Orleans and San Diego through Feb. 28. The cruise line has even bumped some sailings back even further, suspending Carnival Legend departures from Tampa through March 26.

With that being said, Carnival confirmed it’s now looking to slowly, ultimately resume guest operations in Miami and Port Canaveral, Fla., followed by Galveston, Texas.

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"We are committed to meeting the CDC requirements and keeping our guests and business partners informed of our progress," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said of the update. "The entire Carnival team appreciates the great support of our guests, travel advisors and business partners, and local officials in our homeports and destinations."

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In accordance with CDC processes, Carnival is currently prepping 16 ships for an eventual resumption of guest service in 2021.

The M.S. Carnival Valor, owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, docked at Mahogany Bay on the Caribbean island of Roatan. (iStock)

In related headlines, SeaDream Yacht Club has also canceled operations for the remainder of 2020 after multiple passengers tested positive for COVID-19 after boarding a ship in Barbados earlier this month.

Nevertheless, the CEO of Royal Caribbean has claimed that over 100,000 cruising enthusiasts have come forward to volunteer for the company’s trial voyages, set to sail at an undetermined future date.

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