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Carnival is Banking on US Opening Up by Summer

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Nassau Guardian- Carnival Cruise Line is banking on the US opening up during the summer and won’t be homeporting its ships in the Caribbean.

While Royal Caribbean International hopes to get the jump on a return to cruising in June by homeporting in Nassau, Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) is holding on to hope that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lifts its conditional sail order by June, with CCL President Christine Duffy shunning the idea of homeporting outside the US and calling CCL “America’s cruise line” in a video released last week.

Duffy also said in the video that the cruise line has not made a decision on whether or not it would make vaccinations mandatory for cruise passengers.

“We have not made any decision about vaccines being a requirement,” Duffy said.

“We have not made a decision here at Carnival about our June sailings. In fact, we could be given the opportunity to start cruising from the US.

“We currently do not have any plans to move our ships away from their US home ports. I have always said Carnival Cruise Line is America’s cruise line. We sail from 14 US home ports. Fifty percent of our itineraries are less than seven-day sailings and a significant number of our guests drive to their Carnival Cruise vacation.”

While hopeful that cruising could begin this summer, Duffy also maintained that the timing for restart in the US “continues to be uncertain”, especially given that the CDC continues to contend that cruises continue to be high risk in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Duffy is hopeful that this position could and should change with the further rollout of the vaccines and because other forms of transport and entertainment facilities are already open.

“As more Americans are vaccinated, our focus is on securing a decision that will allow for a resumption in cruising from our US home ports, consistent with the expected return of other forms of travel for the summer,” she said.

“But with the promise that all Americans who want the vaccine will have access to one by the end of May, we are optimistic that we will see travel resume in time for summer.

“If it’s safe to fly on an airplane, stay in a hotel or resort, or visit an amusement park, it should be safe to sail on a ship with the additional health and safety protocols that we have in place. Hopefully, from the US.”

Royal Caribbean revealed to Guardian Business this week that bookings for its cruise departing from Nassau’s cruise port in June are off to a “strong start”.

And Crystal Cruises, which will also homeport in The Bahamas, reported that in the first 24 hours of the reservations opening for its new luxury Bahamas cruise starting on July 3, almost 4,000 people reserved staterooms or suites on one of its seven-night cruises through The Bahamas.

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