It may be well into 2021 before some cruise ships return to Bahamian ports, as the Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise lines announced more sailing cancellations through the first quarter of 2021.
While most cruise lines suspended their sailing suspensions through October 31, with the intention to resume sailing on November 1, only one cruise line – that does not call on a Bahamian port – has confirmed it will sail in November.
P&O Cruises, part of Carnival Corporation, yesterday confirmed an extension to its pause in operations, with all sailings cancelled until early 2021 and all Caribbean cruises cancelled until the end of January 2021.
Of the Carnival cruise ships that call on ports in The Bahamas – Conquest, Ecstasy, Elation, Freedom, Legend, Liberty, Magic, Pride, Radiance, Sunshine and Sunrise – the corporation confirmed cancellations in some cases into 2022.
“As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we regret to inform our guests that Carnival Cruise Line is having to cancel the following sailings: Carnival Legend sailings through and including October 30, 2020; Mardi Gras sailings November 14, 2020 through and including January 30, 2021; Carnival Sunrise sailings through and including October 19, 2020; Miami seven- and eight-day sailings from October 9, 2021 through and including April 30, 2022, excluding the March 5, 2022 sailing; Miami five-day sailing January 3, 2022; Carnival Radiance: sailings through and including November 1, 2020; nine-, 12- and 14-day sailings from May 2, 2021 through and including April 29, 2022; five-day sailings December 23, 2021 and December 28, 2021; Carnival Magic: Ft. Lauderdale and Miami sailings through and including March 6, 2021; transatlantic and Barcelona sailings April 10, 2021 through and including May 3, 2021; Carnival Valor sailings through and including April 24, 2021; all other ships sailings through and including October 31, 2020,” the cruise line stated on its website, which was updated this week.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line also announced yesterday that its newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas, which was supposed to have its inaugural sailing from Fort Lauderdale with a four-night Bahamas cruise on November 5, won’t sail until April 2021.
“Our goal is to resume operations on November 1, 2020. However, the following circumstances have extended the suspension for the following ships and sailings: European and transatlantic sailings through the end of November 2020; Australia sailings through December 31, 2020; and Odyssey of the Seas sailings from November 5, 2020 through April 17, 2021 will be canceled. Given the closure of shipyards along with the disruption to the supply chain caused by this pandemic, we’ll need additional time to complete the Odyssey of the Seas’ scheduled construction,” the cruise line stated on its website, which was updated yesterday.
“Liberty of the Seas’ amplification has been postponed to a later date and the ship will now sail to Galveston earlier than planned. Regrettably, only one ship can dock at the Galveston pier at a time, so we have to cancel our February 14, 2021 Jewel of the Seas cruise,” Royal Caribbean further revealed.
Despite these cancellations, economic analysts have said The Bahamas could benefit more from the cruise industry when it rebounds since Carnival Cruise Line, MSC and Norwegian Cruise Line all have private islands in The Bahamas.