Looking Back at the Carnival Corporation Restart

As more of Carnival Corporation brands complete their restart plans, Cruise Industry News looks at the return trajectory of the world’s largest cruise operator.

Carnival Cruise Line
Original Service Resumption: Carnival Vista in July 2021
Restart Completion Plan: Carnival Splendor in May 2022
Ships Now in Service: Full Fleet – 25 ships

In July 2021, Carnival Cruise Line became one of the first cruise lines to resume passenger operations in the United States.

With the Carnival Vista sailing from Galveston and the Carnival Horizon sailing from Miami, the company kicked off a bold restart program that included a return to all of its main homeports.

The plan was completed less then a year later, with the service resumption of the Carnival Splendor in May 2022. Marking the return of the Carnival’s entire 25-ship fleet, the vessel is now set to be followed by the new Carnival Luminosa, which will debut for the company in November.

Princess Cruises
Original Service Resumption: Majestic Princess in July 2021
Restart Completion Plan: Diamond Princess in November 2022
Ships Now in Service: 93% of the Fleet – 14 ships

Princess Cruises welcomed guests back in July 2021 with the Majestic Princess. Leading the way for the industry’s return toAlaska, the premium company first resumed service in the state.

Just a few weeks later, Princess also returned to the United Kingdom with the Regal Princess and the Sky Princess.

Gradually adding ships back into service, the brand later resumed operations on most of its core markets – including the West Coast, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Australia.

Set to complete Princess’ restart, the Diamond Princess will resume service in November, kicking off its first U.S.-based program in nearly a decade.

Holland America Line
Original Service Resumption: Nieuw Amsterdam in July 2021
Restart Completion Plan: Volendam in September 2022
Ships Now in Service: Full Fleet – 11 ships

Fourteen months after first welcoming guests back, Holland America Line marked the return of its entire fleet in September 2022. Resuming service after a humanitarian charter, the Volendam became the 11th cruise ship to resume service for the brand with a series of Mediterranean cruises.

Holland America first restarted guest operations in July 2021, with the Niuew Amsterdam offering a summer program in Alaska.

With more vessels being reactivated over the following months, the company returned to the Mediterranean, the West Coast, the Caribbean, Canada & New England and more.

During the period, the premium cruise line also received a newbuild – the new Rotterdam.

Original Service Resumption: Seabourn Ovation in July 2021
Restart Completion Plan: Seabourn Sojourn in June 2022
Ships Now in Service: Full Fleet – 6 ships

The Seabourn Sojourn completed Seabourn’s service resumption plans in June 2022. After first welcoming guests back in July 2021, the luxury company gradually reactivated its entire five-ship fleet while offering itineraries in the Caribbean, North America and Europe.

Before the Sojourn, the Seabourn Quest welcomed guests back in the Mediterranean, while the Seabourn Odyssey resumed operations in the Caribbean and the Seabourn Encore reentered service in Western Europe.

As the first ship to return for the brand, the Seabourn Ovation initially offered a series of Greek Isles itineraries before repositioning to North America. A new ship, the Seabourn Venture, also debuted during the summer of 2022.

Costa Cruises
Original Service Resumption: Costa Deliziosa in September 2020
Restart Completion Plan: TBD
Ships Now in Service: 75% of the Fleet – 9 ships

Costa Cruises became one of the very first contemporary cruise lines to resume passenger operations in September 2020. The Costa Deliziosa was the first ship to restart service, kicking off a series of domestic itineraries in Italy.

After additional service pauses and several changes of plan, Costa started the most recent phase of its restart plans in early 2022.

Currently, a total of nine ships are in service for the brand around Europe. While a 10th vessel, the Costa Favolosa, is set to resume service in October, two other ships are still lacking restart plans.

Anchored off Italy, the Costa Magica was previously set to be transferred to Carnival Cruise Line and now waits for a new resumption plan. The Costa Serena continues to be laid up.

AIDA Cruises
Original Service Resumption: AIDAperla in March 2021
Restart Completion Plan: AIDAaura in May 2022
Ships Now in Service: Full Fleet – 12 ships

Germany-based AIDA Cruises first restarted sailing in March 2021 with a series of Canary Islands cruises onboard the AIDAperla. A few months later, the company also returned to Mediterranean and Northern Europe for summer programs in both regions.

After gradually adding more vessels back into revenue operations, the brand also returned to the Caribbean and the Middle East in late 2021.

In May 2022, the AIDAaura welcomed guests back for a series of Baltic and British Island cruises, marking the return of AIDA’s entire fleet.

P&O Cruises
Original Service Resumption: Britannia in June 2021
Restart Completion Plan: Arcadia in July 2022
Ships Now in Service: Full Fleet – 6 ships

After a 14-month gap, P&O Cruises restarted service in June 2021 with a program of domestic cruises in the United Kingdom onboard the Britannia and the new Iona.

Upon resuming international cruising to the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Islands, the company added the Ventura and the Azura into the active lineup in December.

Following the Aurora, which resumed service in March, the Arcadia marked the return of the company’s full fleet in June 2022.

Original Service Resumption: Queen Elizabeth in August 2021
Restart Completion Plan: Queen Victoria in June 2022
Ships Now in Service: Full Fleet – 3 ships

Following in P&O’s footsteps, Cunard also resumed service with a series of domestic cruises in the United Kingdom. As the first ship to resume operations for the brand, the Queen Elizabeth welcomed the guests back in August 2021.

The Queen Mary 2 followed suit in November and also marked the return of Cunard’s famous transatlantic crossings a month later.

Completing the company’s fleet, the Queen Victoria returned in June 2022.

P&O Cruises Australia
Original Service Resumption: Pacific Explorer in May 2022
Restart Completion Plan: Pacific Adventure in October 2022
Ships Now in Service: 67% of the Fleet – 2 ships

After a long operational pause, P&O Australia finally welcomed guests back in May 2022. One of the last Carnival Corporation brands to restart revenue service with Australia closed to international cruising, the company resumed its traditional Australia-based itineraries with the Pacific Explorer.

Continuing its restart plans, the company added the Pacific Encounter to the active lineup in late August.

In October, the Pacific Adventure is set to launch service from Sydney, marking the return of the company’s entire three-ship fleet.

Carnival China
With the Chinese market still closed to foreign cruise ships, Carnival’s joint venture with CSSC remains out of service. In addition to two ships under construction in China, the company’s fleet includes the Costa Atlantica and the Costa Mediteranea.

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