Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean extend suspension of most sailings through end of February

Powerhouse cruise lines delay their return to the high seas

Choosing a cruise might not be happening anytime soon.

Powerhouse cruise lines Carnival Corp., Norwegian and Royal Caribbean have all extended the suspension of most sailings through the end of February 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The three companies have all announced the news within the last 24 hours, voluntarily extending a months-long pause in operation for most voyages.

The M.S. Carnival Valor, owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, docked at Mahogany Bay on the Caribbean island of Roatan in this 2011 photo. (iStock)

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On Thursday, Carnival Cruise Line announced that it will not be sailing through Feb. 28, calling off cruises that had been set to sail from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston. The debut of the new Mardi Gras ship has also been bumped back to April 24, 2021.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CCLCARNIVAL CORP.26.09-1.31-4.78%
NCLHNORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS LTD.28.82-4.03-12.26%
RCLROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES86.55-5.06-5.52%

"We apologize to our guests but we must continue to take a thoughtful, deliberate and measured approach as we map out our return to operations in 2021," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, in a media release. "Our commitment to the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit is at the forefront of our decisions and operations."

The Norwegian Star sails through the Reloncavi Sound in this February 2020 photo. (iStock)

The day prior, Norwegian canceled all trips from its flagship line through Feb. 28, and select other voyages through March 31. In addition, trips scheduled for its subsidiary brands Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises have also been canceled through the end of March.

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Explaining the delay, Norwegian said it is focusing on meeting the guidance set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to meet the requirements of the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order to return to the seas.

“Your safety is our #1 priority – both on and off our ships,” the cruise line said in a statement.

Passengers board Royal Caribbean's, Oasis of the Seas Cruise Ship in Haiti in this 2014 photo. (iStock)

Likewise, Royal Caribbean also suspended most global sailings for its eponymous brand and subsidiary Celebrity Cruises through Feb. 28, 2021. In Australia, sailings have even been suspended as far as April 30, 2021, while the Quantum of the Seas has notably resumed sailing in Singapore.

As for American waters, Royal Caribbean stressed its commitment to working with the CDC to plan a safe return to the seas.

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“We can't wait for the day to welcome you on board with us once again," the company said in announcing the news on Wednesday. "Until then we hope you and your loved ones continue to stay safe."