Carnival cancels cruises for North American ships; crews to remain on board

Carnival Cruise Line announced Friday that it will be pausing operations across its North American-based fleet of ships, effective immediately, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ships currently at sea will continue their voyages and return to their home ports as scheduled, officials said. Operations are scheduled to resume Friday, April 10.

“While Carnival has not had a diagnosed case linked to our operation we realize this situation is bigger than the cruise industry and we will continue to do our part to support public officials to manage and contain this unprecedented public health challenge,” Carnival Cruise said in a statement.

Booked guests will be contacted directly regarding their cruise and their options. Officials previously announced relaxed cancellation policies.

Vance Gulliksen, spokesman for Carnival Cruise, said crew members are remaining on board and will continue to be paid.

The cruise ship Carnival Panorama hours before setting sail for a 6 day trip to Mexico. March 8, 2020. Photo by Stephen Carr

Gulliksen said Carnival is working with authorities to see where ships can dock, noting that some ships will remain in their regular home ports.

Long Beach is home to three of the 25 cruise ships that Carnival operates: Panorama, Inspiration and Imagination. The voyages, which depart from every coast in the U.S., along with Canada, Puerto Rico and Barbados, can last from two to 16 days.

Carnival officials said that Carnival Inspiration, which arrives in Long Beach Monday, will remain docked in Long Beach while Carnival Imagination, which arrives on Sunday, will anchor at sea. Officials are still trying to figure out which port to send Carnival Panorama, which arrived in Long Beach on Saturday.

The ships sail to the Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, The Bahamas, Europe and Hawaii.

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Stephanie Rivera is the community engagement editor for the Long Beach Post. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015.