Carnival Cruise Line’s big 4th of July weekend continues with the second ship in the feet resuming operations. Carnival Horizon became the first ship in the fleet to restart from Miami, Florida, the cruise capital of the world.
Carnival Horizon Resumes Cruises From Miami
The Vista-class cruise ship is the first in the fleet to resume operations out of PortMiami and the second in the fleet to restart cruises overall. It marks a huge step forward after the cruise line has spent more than 15 months on hold.
Carnival Horizon departed Miami at around 4:00 PM for a six-day cruise which includes stops in Amber Cove (Dominican Republic) and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay. The ship was originally scheduled to visit Bimini in the Bahamas, but that was canceled and replaced with an extra day in Half Moon Cay.
“PortMiami is our number one homeport in terms of ships and passenger embarkations and today’s return to cruising with Carnival Horizon represents an important first step in getting our company back to business while infusing much-needed capital to the thousands of workers who rely on the cruise industry for their livelihood.”
“The past year has been challenging to say the least and I wish to thank our state and local officials, PortMiami, and our business partners and suppliers for their incredible support and patience during this time.”
There was a “back to Fun” ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the Miami terminal attended by Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, Carnival Corp President Arnold Donald, and Brand Ambassador John Heald, who finally made it to the ship after first being denied to travel to the U.S. from the UK on Thursday. There was also a moment of silence held in honor of all those affected by the Surfside condo collapse in Miami.
Carnival’s Economy Impact
With no operations for more than a year, it’s had a huge impact on the local economy and supporting cruise industry sectors. With Florida the most popular state in the U.S. for cruises, the industry has contributed more than $9 billion in direct purchases and responsible for over 159,000 jobs. Cruise activity also generates approximately $7 billion of spend and 40,000 jobs annually in the Miami-Dade area.
A major part of the local impact are the longshoremen with a major drop in wages during the suspension due to no cruise ship operations. Torin Ragin, president, International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1416, said:
“The restart of cruise ships from Miami is an exciting day for Miami’s longshoremen. We have approximately 800 members at PortMiami and their wages dropped as much as 80% during the nearly 16-month cruise suspension. Today with Carnival Horizon’s first sailing, we get back to work and look forward to supporting our families again.”
Carnival Horizon’s Sunday departure follows sister ship Carnival Vista which became the first ship in the fleet to restart cruises out of the Port of Galveston in Texas on Saturday, July 3.
More ships will resume sailings through July, including Carnival Breeze out of Galveston on July 15, Carnival Miracle to sail Alaska out of Seattle starting on July 27, Mardi Gras out of Port Canaveral July 31.