Carnival CEO Says It’s Too Early for US Cruises to Return

Carnival Corporation & plc Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald said he thinks its too early to begin planning for cruises to resume in the United States.

According to Bloomberg, Donald said that despite “a lot of pent-up demand” from customers looking to sail again, the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has forced the cruise line to cancel all voyages through at the end of October.

Donald said it’s premature for the cruise industry to outline a strategy for a return to sailing in the U.S., especially as public-health restrictions remain in place and COVID-19 cases have spiked in many areas.

“As long as we’re not just comfortably socially gathering, then we shouldn’t be talking about cruise,” Donald told Bloomberg.

While Carnival has worked to maintain its ships and prepare for an eventual return to sailing, its primary focus has been the safety of customers and employees and the health protocols it would implement to keep everyone protected.

Donald revealed the company is considering all options, including mandatory facial coverings and social distancing practices, but the CDC still hasn’t provided strict guidelines to begin returning to service in U.S. waters.

Carnival’s brands are preparing to resume sailing in a limited capacity in Germany and Italy next month. AIDA Cruises will launch the first voyages from Kiel on September 6 and Hamburg on September 12, 19 and 26 aboard the AIDAperla.

Costa Cruises also announced plans to restart sailings from Italian ports, with the gradual return of services beginning September 6 on the Costa Deliziosa. The Costa Diadema will be the second ship to sail on September 19, as it begins operating seven-day cruises in the Western Mediterranean from Genoa to Italy and Malta.

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