The President of Carnival Cruise Line, Christine Duffy, said that the cruise line’s recent bookings have been strong and the brand is remaining financially sound.
“Carnival Corporation continues to be a financially sound company in spite of this extended pause. We entered this situation with a very strong balance sheet that has allowed us to raise additional capital and financing to get us through this pause and maintain our position as a leader in the global cruise industry,” Duffy said in a video address posted on Carnival’s social media on Feb. 25.
“Our bookings for 2022 and beyond are very solid and demonstrate the pent up demand we know is out there for cruising again,” she added.
Duffy also highlighted the “growing sense” that cruising will find a “safe way to return” soon.
“The approval of not one but two vaccines in December began to change the way the pandemic was being managed and how the return to cruising might be shaped … We now have additional vaccines coming online, including a single dose solution. And the new administration’s COVID plan includes a very focused effort to ramp up vaccine production and distribution as quickly as possible,” Duffy said.
“The goal of getting more people vaccinated quickly has appropriately become the priority. And with the news that the vaccine will be widely distributed and available to most Americans starting this spring, there is a growing sense that many activities including cruising will find a safe way to return,” she added.
Among other exciting news, Duffy mentioned the upcoming arrival of the Mardi Gras to the U.S., the cruise line’s latest addition to the fleet, as well as breaking ground on Carnival’s new terminal at PortMiami.
According to Duffy, 16 ships from the Carnival fleet remain in U.S. waters following the CDC requirements so that “we will be ready to get back to cruising just as soon as we are able to.”
However, eight ships will require drydocks soon, which delay their returns until the second half of 2021.
“We have cancelled all cruises through the month of May, and in Australia, our pause is ongoing at least until the end of June…We are providing options for those who want to be able to cancel and incentives for those who are willing to retain their bookings as we continue to work through this uncertainty in our pause in the United States,” Duffy said.
“We know how frustrating this situation is for everyone who is part of the extended Carnival Cruise Line family – including our loyal guests and our business partners… I wish I had more specific information to share with you, especially a firm start date and what the protocols will be, and specifically whether a vaccine will be mandated or required for guests and crew. However, we don’t have those answers at this time,” she added.