Carnival Cruise Line to restart select US cruises in July, will require COVID-19 vaccines

GALVESTON, Texas — Carnival Cruise Line confirmed Monday it plans to resume limited sailings from the ports of Galveston and Miami in July, but all guests must be fully vaccinated to cruise.

Sailings halted by the coronavirus pandemic are slated to begin July 3 aboard the Carnival Vista and July 15 aboard the Carnival Breeze in Galveston, the company stated in a news release.

>> Read more trending news

Carnival is also negotiating with both the U.S. Centers and Disease Control and the state of Florida to resume sailings aboard the Miami-based Carnival Horizon in July, but sail dates and details have not yet been finalized. According to the news release, the company plans to provide protocol updates to all booked guests for the proposed Miami sailings by Friday.

In keeping with current CDC guidelines on COVID-19, all guests intending to sail from Galveston must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to the sail date and able to provide proof of vaccination, the company stated.

“We appreciate the progress and support for our U.S. restart from the CDC and other key federal agencies; however, the current CDC requirements for cruising with a guest base that is unvaccinated will make it very difficult to deliver the experience our guests expect, especially given the large number of families with younger children who sail with us. As a result, our alternative is to operate our ships from the U.S. during the month of July with vaccinated guests,” Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy stated.

It was not immediately clear whether the sailings confirmed by Carnival’s announcement would be test cruises or if they would include paying passengers, which are subject to separate CDC protocols for service resumption, USA Today reported.

CDC spokesperson Caitlin Shockey provided the outlet with a list of approved cruises that includes only Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon for test cruises with volunteer passengers. Carnival Breeze does not appear on the current CDC-approved list.

According to the CDC, 95% of a ship’s passengers and crew must be fully vaccinated in order to forego test cruises and proceed directly to traditional sailings with paying customers, USA Today reported.

More coronavirus pandemic coverage:

>> Coronavirus: How long between exposure to the virus and the start of symptoms?

>> What are your chances of coming into contact with someone who has COVID-19? This tool will tell you

>> How to not let coronavirus pandemic fatigue set in, battle back if it does