Carnival Cruise Line is in talks with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and “working on” the resumption of shipping in July, Carnival President Christine Duffy said on Monday.
With their narrow boundaries and larger share of older, more vulnerable passengers, cruise ships were the sites of some of the earliest coronavirus outbreaks outside of China.
Cruises were largely halted under a CDC “No Sail Order” from March through October. Some cruises resumed under conditional sailing orders in the fall. On May 5, the CDC released updated guidelines allowing cruise ships to conduct “trial” trips and apply for certificates for restricted passenger travel.
Carnival – the world’s largest cruise line by revenue, grossing $ 8 billion a year – has confirmed it is in active discussions with the CDC about reopening after an outage.
“We are again,” Duffy said of the negotiations in an interview. “So for a while we haven’t been, and we respect that. Obviously at first the focus was really on the vaccine in the guns, but they came back to the table with us, and in early spring, I think, seriously with us and with other internal groups, to really know what guidelines and protocols will be needed to get us to sail from American ports again. ”
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A key point of the discussions is the requirement for passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated. The CDC said cruise ships can resume open water navigation if 98% of crew members and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated.
“There is no mandate for any other company to have this requirement,” Duffy said. “We certainly encourage everyone to get vaccinated, and our crew members who have… are very grateful to have this opportunity. “
No vaccines were allowed for children under 12, so they would not be allowed on board. Family tickets make up a large portion of the cruise industry bookings.
“Children under 12 are a big part of the cruising experience on a summer family vacation, and as it is, we couldn’t have children under 12 on board. Duffy said.
The cruise industry looks forward to working with the administration and getting back to sea soon, she said.
“We employ approximately 500,000 people in the United States, and we have lost approximately 300,000 direct jobs at this point. We have lost about 40% of the employees, and we have 30,000 early repatriation crew members who were home waiting to get back to work, ”Duffy said.
“The CDC and the interagency groups that work with us now have the same goal in mind, as President Biden said. He wants to reopen America by July 4, and we want to make sure that the cruise industry can be a part of that reopening America, ”she said.