MIAMI, FL — Carnival Cruise Line said Monday it is extending its coronavirus shutdown for North American cruises through Sept. 30, but the Miami-based company did not yet announce a new target date to resume service.
“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 said in a letter to passengers who booked cruises and travel agents.
Industry trade group Cruise Lines International Association announced Friday that all cruise lines at American ports had voluntarily extended the suspension of cruises until Sept. 15 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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“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,” Duffy said in her letter. “Nevertheless, we apologize for disrupting your vacation plans and appreciate your patience as we work through these decisions.”
All passenger cruise lines voluntarily suspended service March 13 in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.
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Carnival previously said it planned to resume passenger service Aug. 1 in Miami, Orlando and Galveston, Texas, as part of what the company described as a phased reopening.
People who booked cruises on Carnival have the option of getting a full refund or accepting a rebooking offer that combines a future cruise credit and either a $300 or $600 onboard credit.
“The process is fully automated so that guests can submit their preference online, and they have until May 31, 2021, to make a selection,” company officials said.
In its June 18 filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Carnival reported an adjusted net loss of $2.4 billion during the shutdown. Some 29,000 crew members from more than 100 counties assigned to 27 ships were still in the process of being sent back to their home countries as of Monday. Carnival said in the SEC filing it plans to sell off six of its ships in the next 90 days.
“We appreciate the patience and support of our loyal guests, and recognize how much they want to get back to cruising,” Duffy said in her letter. “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.”
This article originally appeared on the Miami Patch