Cruise giant Carnival cancels all sailings into February, some into March

Nov 18, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

It now will be at least February before you can get on a Carnival Cruise Line ship.

The Miami-based cruise giant on Wednesday said it would extend its eight-month-long halt to cruise operations through at least Jan. 31 for all vessels.

In addition, the line canceled all sailings out of Baltimore; Charleston, South Carolina.; Jacksonville, Florida; Long Beach, California; Mobile, Alabama.; New Orleans; and San Diego through the end of February.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter.

Sailings out of Tampa on the line’s Carnival Legend were canceled through March 26.

Until Wednesday, Carnival only had canceled voyages fleetwide through the end of December.

The announcement comes nearly three weeks after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a road map for a return to cruising in U.S. waters that suggested it could be many months before cruising could resume.

Nearly all Carnival ships operate in U.S. waters.

The CDC road map for a resumption of cruising in U.S. waters, issued as a “framework for conditional sailing” order, includes a testing period for new anti-COVID protocols on ships that could extend well into January. After that, cruise operators can apply for what the CDC is calling a Conditional Sailing Certificate in a process that could take an additional 60 days.

Assuming the CDC sticks to the guidelines that it has laid out in the order, it could be March or April, at the earliest, before cruising resumes out of U.S. ports.

Related: How to book a cruise with points and miles 

Carnival Mardi Gras
The soon-to-debut Carnival Cruise Line ship Mardi Gras. (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival’s announcement also comes as COVID-19 case counts continue to soar in both Europe and North America. The U.S. in recent days has been recording well over 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day.

“We are committed to meeting the CDC requirements and keeping our guests and business partners informed of our progress,” Carnival president Christine Duffy said Wednesday in a statement accompanying the line’s announcement. “The entire Carnival team appreciates the great support of our guests, travel advisors and business partners, and local officials in our homeports and destinations.”

In announcing the cancellations, Carnival said that 16 of its ships are currently taking part in the CDC process to resume operations in U.S. waters in 2021.

The line currently has 23 vessels with one more joining its fleet in the coming months.

The ships in Carnival’s current fleet that are taking part in the CDC process to resume sailing include Carnival Conquest, Carnival Dream, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Elation, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Panorama, Carnival Pride, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Vista.

The line’s soon-to-debut Mardi Gras, currently under construction at a shipyard in Finland, also is taking part in the process, the line said.

In its announcement Wednesday, Carnival said it was planning a gradual approach to a restart of cruising that would focus initially on sailings out of just two ports, Florida’s PortMiami and Port Canaveral, to be followed by sailings out of Galveston, Texas.

Cruising has resumed in a very limited way in recent months in parts of Europe, led by Europe-based lines such as MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises and TUI Cruises. A handful of lines in other parts of the world including French Polynesia also have resumed limited sailings. But, so far, no line has successfully resumed sailings in North America.

Related: These 9 cruise lines have resumed limited sailings

Just last week, one small cruise company, SeaDream Yacht Club, attempted to resume voyages in the Caribbean out of Barbados with a small vessel. But the sailing did not go well. It ended with a COVID-19 outbreak and passengers quarantined in their cabins. The line this week canceled all remaining cruises for the rest of the year.

All cruise lines around the world halted departures in March as the coronavirus outbreak grew and many have yet to restart operations. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises and Holland America are among the major lines that haven’t operated a single departure since March.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.