Carnival Cruise Line confirmed that several of its ships start sailing from July in the United States, but said that passengers must be vaccinated.
“We appreciate the progress and support of the CDC and other key federal agencies for our restart in the United States. However, the current CDC requirements for cruising with unvaccinated passengers will make it very difficult to provide the experience our guests have come to expect, especially given a large number of families with younger children who sail with us. As a result, our alternative is to operate our ships from the United States, during the month of July, with vaccinated guests”, said Christine Duffy, president of the cruise company.
The company’s announcement joins other cruise lines that begin sailing in July from the U.S., such as Royal Caribean, and represents a change to what the company had previously stated of not requiring vaccines.
The first ship to sail will be the Carnival Vista from the port of Galveston, Texas, on July 3rd, followed by the Carnival Breeze, which will set sail on July 15th, according to a recent statement.
The cruises are available to passengers who have received their final dose of a Covid-19 vaccine approved by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), at least 14 days before the start of the cruise. They must present proof of vaccination.
Duffy was referring to the test cruises required by the CDC, for those cruise lines that choose not to require vaccinations, which according to the latest updates from that agency, is recommended, although voluntary.
The Carnival Horizon will also sail in July from the Port of Miami. The company did not offer more details on the specific onboard health protocols but indicated that they will provide weekly updates for customers with reservations.
Crewmembers on Carnival ships began vaccination, and Duffy noted that they have received strong support from both Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, as well as other state and port officials to put vaccines available to cruise line staff, which has sped up the restart process.
Carnival has not said when it will make the maiden voyage or begin regular Carnival Mardi Gras sailings, which arrived June 4 at Port Canaveral, Florida, her permanent homeport.
The largest ship built for the company has created great expectations since the construction of her was announced, for the firsts that she brings, including the first roller coaster at sea.