If you have been thinking a cruise would be the perfect way to get away and forget about 2020 for a while, you might have to reconsider that plan.
Carnival Cruise Lines, part of the largest cruise vacation company in the world, has announced that it has canceled cruises into the spring of 2021. Four cruise ships are currently affected: Carnival Magic itineraries from Miami are cancelled through March 13, Carnival Paradise cruises from Tampa are cancelled through March 19, Carnival Valor trips from New Orleans won’t operate until April 29, and Carnival Spirit journeys will be halted until May 16. In addition, the company is selling some of its ships.
It is no surprise that the cruise line has taken a major financial hit due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Travel Association reports an estimated $505 billion in losses for the travel industry as a whole by the end of 2020. The national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry does not expect the industry to recover until 2024.
Removing Ships From The Fleet
Carnival announced it is selling the Carnival Fascination, launched in 1994, and Carnival Imagination, launched in 1995, two cruise ships that had previously been removed from published itineraries. In July, the cruise line sold the Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration.
“While we are sad to see Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination leave our fleet, it is a necessary move as it allows us to focus on ships that offer the greatest variety of features and stateroom accommodations for our guests,” president of Carnival Cruise Line Christine Duffy said in a press release.
Carnival Cruise Line still offers cruises on 23 ships, including four upgraded Fantasy-class ships: Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Elation and Carnival Paradise. The company recently announced its next Excel-class ship, Carnival Celebration, which will arrive in 2022 to coincide with the cruise line’s 50th birthday celebration.
Mother company Carnival Corporation & PLC, which also owns Holland America, Princess Cruises and other lines, also said in a recent financial filing that company-wide, it will ditch 18 total ships. These make up about 12% of its fleet.
Guests who have already paid for cruises have two options. One is a full refund. The other is a 100% future cruise credit and a bonus onboard credit of $300 or $600 per stateroom, depending on the length of the cruise. You can find more details or choose a cancellation preference on the Carnival cancelled cruises option form.
“As we continue to work through issues related to our eventual return to operations, we are committed to providing our guests and travel agent partners with certainty where we can, although we regret disappointing our guests,” Duffy said. “We appreciate the continued support and understanding of our guests and hope to welcome them back on board soon.”
Other cruise companies are facing cancellations as well. A no-sail order has been in place in the U.S. since March 14 (a day after many cruise lines decided to pause operations) and was extended in July to September 30. Additionally, the cruise industry voluntarily suspended voyages through October 31, 2020. Many other companies, including Disney Cruise Line, have also cancelled sailings into December and beyond due to port closures and other considerations.