Carnival Corporation’s release of the Q4 preliminary financial results gave some interesting insights on where the company stands regarding a potential re-start of cruising.
How the company plans to deal with the strict regulations placed on them by the CDC, how cruising will look once the day does finally come, and what dates we can see ships sailing from the United States once again are all questions that remain unanswered.
Resumption of Guest Operations
Booking numbers have been looking great for many months now, numbers have surpassed those of 2019, and guest support and trust has been unwavering, many uncertainties remain.
While both Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises have had mixed success with cruising during the pandemic, others have been at a standstill for up to a year now while resumption dates are pushed back time and time again.
Carnival Corporation is hopeful that due to the fact most cruise lines have a local audience, this will help the company once cruising does take shape once again. It will be easier for companies like Cunard to only sail with guests from the UK, Costa with Italian guests, Carnival with US-based guests, and so on.
The resumption dates for Cruise Lines under Carnival Corporation are, for now, as follows:
- Princess Cruises has announced a start date of May 14, 2021.
- Holland America Cruises has announced it will start sailing until April 30, 2021.
- Seabourn Cruise Line had previously canceled all voyages until the end of April 2021 for most vessels, while some are canceled until fall 2021.
- P&O Australia & UK: P&O Cruises has paused operations until Spring 2021.
- Cunard: Cunard has also paused operations until Spring 2021.
- Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival ships will not sail until April 2021
- AIDA: AIDA plans on resuming cruises in the Canary Islands from March 6, 2021
- Costa Cruises: The first vessel to resume sailings will be Costa Deliziosa. She will resume operations on January 31, 2021. Other vessels are all on stand by until further notice.
Health and Safety Protocols
Carnival Corporation has been busy setting up reliable health and safety protocols that will be vital to sailing safely. This being a two-edged sword, of course. In the United States, as the largest cruise hub globally, cruises will be under intense scrutiny from the CDC, while any outbreak onboard will cause a media storm.
That is why the company has employed several world-leading public health, epidemiological, and policy experts and is also working with the CDC to support all of the brands while they work through the regulations and protocols set out by both the CDC and the cruise lines themselves.
Carnival specified in its financial release as to why the timings have been much longer than expected:
“The framework consists of several initial requirements that cruise ship operators will need to follow before resuming guest operations. Further, the framework is subject to additional technical instructions and orders from the CDC and may change based on public health considerations. Many uncertainties remain as to the specifics, timing, and cost of implementing the requirements.”
A positive point for Carnival Corporation is that it has a considerable amount of data and experience from the cruises onboard the Costa and AIDA ships in Europe. This will surely help them to start up quickly when the go-signal does finally come.
Also Read: Why Are Cruises Still Being Canceled?
When that go-signal comes is entirely unclear. With full lockdowns in Europe, and rising numbers of cases in North America, Asia, and South America, that date might just be slipping further, rather than coming closer.
Main Photo Credit: Mark Anthony Ray / Shutterstock.com