The cruise line industry is one of the worst hit in the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic but it seems that not all companies have written-off 2020 as Carnival Cruises hopes to relaunch cruises in August. With the vast majority of cruise ships docked and waiting for a brighter future one company has decided to rock the boat and plans to start business again with paying customers this summer season. In fact, Carnival Cruises will be the first major cruise ship company to resume operations since the COVID-19 outbreak began.
“We are taking a measured approach, focusing our return to service on a select number of homeports where we have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of our guests,” said a spokesperson for the company. Adding that “Cruising will also include whatever enhanced operational protocols and social gathering guidelines that are in place at the time of the resumption of cruise operations.”
Although cruising in a COVID-19 will look decidedly different than in the past with many sections of the ships off-limits to the restrictions of social distancing. And extra crews just for cleaning and disinfecting the cruise ships will be needed. However, just how many paying customers Carnival will be able to attract is still unclear as there are concerns as to the safety of cruising.
Carnival Cruise hopes to sail from three US ports, from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston, Texas and they have a fleet of eight cruise ships planned. These first cruises are being offered at reduced prices and will sail from the US to Mexico. Prices have been dropped so much to attract passenger that a basic rate is only $28 per passenger per night. And in fact after the news was announced the US stock market reacted positively with carnival shares rising a healthy 4.7 percent.