Carnival to resume cruises out of Long Beach for vaccinated passengers

After being anchored for 16 months, Carnival Cruise Line announced the return of cruises from its ports around the country beginning in July, including the return of service out of Long Beach in August for vaccinated passengers.

The Panorama, one of Carnival’s newest and largest ships, will begin sailing seven-day Mexican Riviera routes out of its Long Beach homeport on Aug. 21, the company recently announced. The Miracle, which debuted in 2004, is expected to begin its short cruise program out of Long Beach in September after it spends the summer sailing a Seattle-Alaska route beginning July 27, Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said in an email.

The Radiance, a newly renovated vessel formerly known as the Victory, is slated to make its Long Beach debut in November, Gulliksen said, and will sail three- and four-day Baja routes.

The company is onboarding hundreds of crew members each week, according to the announcement. Before each member can begin work preparing for guests, they must be vaccinated and complete a quarantine mandated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the company added.

“Our focus remains on the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve and visit,” President Christine Duffy said in the announcement. “We are taking a deliberate approach so we can execute with excellence and deliver a fun experience to our guests, who have been tremendously patient and supportive throughout this pause.”

Aside from proof of vaccination, other COVID-19 safety protocols remain in place for passengers. Each passenger will complete an online health questionnaire 72 hours before sailing and will undergo an enhanced health screening prior to boarding.

Face masks will be required during the entire embarkation and debarkation processes and all guests should be prepared to follow local guidelines at each stop. Onboard the ship, meanwhile, masks and social distancing are not required.

The pandemic wreaked havoc on Carnival Corporation, which includes Carnival Cruise Line and nine other brands. The company reported losses to the tune of $10.24 billion—an average of nearly $28.1 million per day—in 2020.

During the first three months of 2021, the company reported a net loss of another $2 billion, according to its quarterly update. However, advanced bookings for 2022 are ahead of 2019 levels, which were very strong, the company noted.

The company is retiring 19 ships, including four from Carnival Cruise Line, Gulliksen said, adding that newer, more efficient ships that run on liquefied natural gas are on order. It was not immediately clear if any or all of the ships are being retired as a direct result of the pandemic or how many ships the company has ordered.

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Brandon Richardson is a business reporter, covering everything from real estate and healthcare to the airport and port to city hall and the economy. He is a Long Beach native who has been with the Business Journal since graduating from Long Beach City College in spring 2016 with an associate’s degree in journalism. He is an avid record collector and concert goer.
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