Two Carnival cruise line ships have finally arrived home in Galveston, Texas, for the first time since the cruise shutdown over a year ago. It sure was an emotional day for the port, and the Miami-based cruise line as Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista arrived on Sunday afternoon.
It comes as Carnival has suspended operations out of the U.S. through June 2020, and operations have been on hold since March 2020. However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now saying that cruises could resume mid-July, which is welcome news for the Port of Galveston and the local economy.
Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista Arrive in Texas
Hundreds of people lines the pier at the Port of Galveston on Sunday afternoon to welcome back home two carnival cruise ships which were based from the port before cruises were suspended back in March 2020.
There has been huge anticipation for the Carnival Breeze, a Dream-class vessel, and the slightly larger Carnival Vista, which is the first in her class. The day finally arrived when both ships entered the port at approximately 1:00 PM local time.
Many people posted the ship arrivals on social media, and hundreds lined the pier. There was also an escort by the Bay Houston Towing Company Tugboat Wesley A and the Texas City Pilot boat.
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The cruise line kicked off its Galveston operations back in 2000 with year-round cruises. Carnival Cruise Line is the only operator with three year-round vessels out of the Port of Galveston carrying around 750,000 passengers annually.
Currently, Carnival Vista is scheduled to begin sailing with passengers from July 3, 2021. The first voyage back in 14 months will a week-long cruise calling to Mahogany Bay, Belize, and Cozumel. Carnival Breeze is scheduled to depart on her first voyage back on July 1, 2021. The ship is set to sail a 4-day itinerary with a call at Cozumel, Mexico.
With the situation with the CDC remaining very fluid and various instructions still needed to worked through to resume cruises safely, the return dates could change.
Ships Arrive Before Galveston Cruise Rally
The two Carnival cruise line ships arrived a day before a Cruise Rally is to be held at the port on Monday. The rally, which is being hosted by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), will be attended by the Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, Galveston Mayor Dr. Craig Brown, and FMC Commissioners Louis E. Sola and Carl W. Bentzel.
At the rally they will discuss the economic impact due to the cruise industry being on pause for 14 months. They’ll have discussions with local community offci9als and local business leaders who will also attends to have their say.
The Port of Galveston is set to be ready if cruises do manage to resume in July 2021. In fact, the port has already invested $100,000 in health and safety enhancements across all its terminals.
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The port is the fourth busiest in North America and is a hugely important hub not just for Carnival but also Royal Caribbean, which is developing a new cruise terminal. The cruise business in Galveston generates $1.6 billion in expenditures annually and 27,000 jobs across Texas.