When does a “pause” become something more significant?
Travel agents around the world can be forgiven for asking today, as Carnival Cruise Line confirmed it will extend its operational break in North America through to September 30th.
“During this unprecedented pause in our business, we have continued to assess the operating environment and confer with public health, government and industry officials,” Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy told booked guests and travel agents in a letter sent today.
“We have watched with great interest as commerce, travel and personal activities have begun to start back up, and once we do resume service, we will take all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we bring our ships to in order to maintain public confidence in our business.
“Nevertheless, we apologise for disrupting your vacation plans and appreciate your patience as we work through these decisions,” Duffy said in the letter.
Carnival Cruise Line parent Carnival Corporation last week said it would sell six ships from across its fleets as the company continued to raise cash in the face of an extended shutdown.
Carnival initially announced a voluntary 30-day pause in operations on March 13th, and has now extended that pause three times, reflecting the public health challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is currently completing the repatriation of nearly 29,000 crew members to more than 100 nations who serve its fleet of 27 ships.
“We appreciate the patience and support of our loyal guests, and recognize how much they want to get back to cruising.
“When the time is right, our outstanding onboard team will be waiting to welcome them back and give them the great vacation that they deserve,” said Duffy.