Carnival to ditch 18 ships in complete as U.S. cruises stay banned amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Carnival Corporation will half with a complete of 18 cruise ships within the subsequent few months — 12% of its fleet — because it continues to chop prices whereas cruising in a lot of the world stays banned.

The firm introduced an adjusted third-quarter lack of $1.7 billion in a monetary submitting Tuesday, six months after it first introduced it was shutting down operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm had beforehand introduced in July it will half with 15 ships. The move to hurry up efforts to slim capability comes as cruises within the U.S., the corporate’s most profitable market, stay banned by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention till Oct. 1. Most strains serving the U.S. have ceased cruising till not less than Oct. 31.

Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration and Costa Victoria have already been scrapped. In July, Holland America Line and P&O Cruises introduced that Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam, Veendam and Oceanea could be leaving the fleets and transferring to undisclosed consumers.

The firm can be slowing down the supply schedule of its new ships, now anticipating solely 5 of the 9 ships initially scheduled to be delivered by the tip of 2021.

Carnival Corp., the biggest cruise firm on this planet with 9 cruise strains, restarted operations in Italy on Sept. 6 of considered one of its Costa Cruises ships. The cruises are solely accessible to Italian passengers, who’re required to bear fast COVID-19 antigen checks earlier than boarding.

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CEO Arnold Donald participated in a public assembly with Miami-Dade commissioners final week to induce the CDC to permit for cruises to restart within the U.S. He mentioned the corporate was working to develop science-based protocols to maintain passengers and crew protected and to forestall burdening authorities sources.

“We want no one to experience a greater risk on a cruise ship,” he mentioned.

Commissioners didn’t ask Donald or executives from Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and MSC Cruises about how they’d forestall outbreaks at sea and keep away from problems that left passengers and crew stranded in March and April and overwhelmed the Coast Guard with medical evacuation requests.

A spokesperson for the CDC mentioned the company doesn’t have sufficient data to say when it will likely be protected for cruise ships to renew passenger operations.

At least 24 Carnival Corp. ships have been affected by COVID-19 and not less than 80 of the corporate’s passengers and crew have died from the virus, based on a Miami Herald investigation. Carnival Corp., together with its opponents, have struggled to include outbreaks amongst crew members on its ships in spite of everything passengers have been repatriated. In June, Carnival Corp. determined to drag all of its cruise ships out of U.S. waters partly as a result of it disagreed with a requirement from the CDC that crew members stay in particular person cabins as a lot as potential. It has not reported COVID-19 or COVID-like sicknesses to the company since then.

On Tuesday the corporate mentioned it’s seeing bookings for the second half of 2021 towards the upper finish of historic ranges. More than half of bookings through the third quarter have been new bookings versus future cruise credit from canceled cruises, the corporate mentioned.

Since it stopped working in March, Carnival Corp. mentioned it has raised $12 billion. As of the tip of the third quarter on Aug. 31, the corporate mentioned it had $8.2 billion of money and money equivalents.