Carnival Cruise Line extends pause in US trips through April amid COVID:'It's going to take a while longer'

The cruise line has been operating at reduced capacity for nearly a year.

23 January 2021 Saturday 10:27
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Carnival Cruise Line extends pause in US trips through April amid COVID:'It's going to take a while longer'

Carnival Cruise Line is extending its pause in U.S. departures during April 30 and canceling Australian operations through May 19, the company announced Saturday.

The information is as COVID-19 cases continue to grow around the world despite the supply of these vaccines.

The cruise line was working at reduced capacity for nearly a year. Since March 14, all passenger-carrying vessels operating in U.S. waters have been subject to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's no sail order, due to the outbreak.

Carnival Cruise Line guests are currently being informed of the cancelations and each has been offered either a complete refund or a"generous future cruise charge and onboard credit bundle," the firm said in a statement.

"Our guests and travel agent partners continue to express their loyalty to Carnival and their urge to get back on our boats whenever they can, and we are heartened by the reservation demand and activity we continue to see," Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in the statement.

The first cruise is now set for May 29.

"We're definitely committed to welcoming them back as quickly as possible, but sadly we've decided it is going to take a while longer, and the situation in Europe will also affect Mardi Gras' departure to the U.S., and Carnival Legend's itineraries in Europe," Duffy added.

In October of last year, Carnival Cruise Line announced it had been canceling sailings from all ports -- except its own home ports of Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida -- until the end of the year.

The news was a shock, since months before, in May, the company had said it planned to use a"phased-in strategy" to restart some North American sailings starting on Aug. 1.

As of Saturday, at least 96.2 million people around the world have tested positive for COVID-19, and also at least 2.06 million have died, according to statistics compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Presently, two additional versions of the virus are circling around South Africa and the United Kingdom.