Carnival and MSC Just Dropped Their Summer Cruise Lineup
Start planning your post-vaccine cruise.
Most cruise lines have had their fleets stay put since March 2020, but now they're slowly making a comeback.
Royal Caribbean announced its summer lineup of cruises earlier this week, and now Carnival Cruise Line and MSC Cruises are following suit, with cruises resuming as early as July 3.
Carnival will begin sailing out of Galveston, Texas, on July 3 with its Carnival Vista ship. The Carnival Breeze will follow suit on July 15, according to a statement from Carnival. All guests will be required to show proof that they have received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before boarding.
"We appreciate the progress and support for our US restart from the CDC and other key federal agencies; however, the current CDC requirements for cruising with a guest base that is unvaccinated will make it very difficult to deliver the experience our guests expect, especially given the large number of families with younger children who sail with us," Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement. "As a result, our alternative is to operate our ships from the US during the month of July with vaccinated guests."
MSC Cruises has already restarted operations, according to Travel + Leisure, with a cruise out of Venice, Italy, over the weekend of June 5. It will offer its first US cruise in on August 2, per a separate report from the outlet. The MSC Meraviglia will travel from Miami to the Bahamas, and make a stop on MSC's new private island. The cruise line will add trips from Orlando to the Bahamas and the Caribbean beginning September 16 aboard the MSC Divina. Those ships will also stop at MSC's private island.
Passengers travelling on MSC's ships will not require proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated passengers will, however, have to undergo "requirements such as additional testing, as well as restrictions, which will be announced at a later date," according to Travel + Leisure. All crew members will be vaccinated.
Since lifting its "No-Sail Order" on October 30, the CDC has slowly begun to allow the industry to resume operations under certain strict health and safety guidelines, such as recommending that passengers, crew, and port workers all be vaccinated. It also requires that ships take volunteers on a test cruise to show how they can manage risks associated with the spread of COVID-19 before they can take paying passengers, though this step can be skipped should 95% of all those on board be vaccinated, per the Washington Post.