MIAMI — Carnival Cruise Line canceled U.S. cruises through the end of January 2021.
The company said in a statement that it will eventually restart cruises from Miami and Port Canaveral first, followed by Galveston. It is canceling cruises from Baltimore, Charleston, Jacksonville, Long Beach, Mobile, New Orleans and San Diego through Feb. 28 and from Tampa through March 26.
Cruises on competitor lines remain canceled through Dec. 31 as companies prepare to comply with new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rules to prevent COVID-19 spread at sea. The rules, announced late last month, replace the agency’s seven-month ban on cruises.
In preparation for a restart, Carnival said it is bringing one of its ships — Carnival Horizon — to Miami. In June, the company removed all of its ships from U.S. waters, the only major company to do so, and stopped reporting COVID-19 infections to the CDC, a requirement only of ships in U.S. waters. The company said it is bringing back 16 ships to restart cruises in the U.S. in 2021.
The CDC’s 40-page conditional sail order issued Oct. 30 requires a phased approach to restarting cruises. Companies must first demonstrate they can successfully protect crew members from COVID-19, then conduct simulated cruises with volunteer passengers, then obtain a “Conditional Sailing Certificate” from the CDC.
Testing requirements — PCR testing for all passengers and crew on embarkation and disembarkation days — go beyond protocols companies had previously proposed.