Carnival Cruise Lines will resume visits to Mexican ports of call based on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, which is no longer recommending against non-essential travel to Mexico. Once all voyages with previously modified itineraries are completed, those vessels will revert to their original routes featuring stops in Mexico. Most itineraries were modified through mid-June with the exception of the Holiday which was modified through late May. A ship-by-ship listing including dates for when each vessel will resume its original itinerary is available at http://www.carnival.com/cms/fun/cruise_control/itinerary_updates.aspx.
“We are very pleased to resume our previous itineraries to Mexico, one of the cruise industry’s most popular destinations, and we thank those guests who were impacted by the modified schedules in recent weeks for their understanding and patience,” said Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines.
Cahill added, “The health and well being of our guests and crew is our highest priority and we are returning to Mexico after careful evaluation and consultation with the CDC. It is important to note that the concentration of H1N1 flu cases in Mexico has been inland rather than in the coastal resort areas where our ships visit.”
Cahill also noted that the cruise industry works closely with U.S. public health officials in the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program in developing and complying with extensive policies and procedures that are effective in mitigating illness aboard cruise ships. Carnival will continue to follow CDC guidelines for cruise ships which include pre-boarding health questionnaires for all guests and crew, along with secondary screening by shipboard medical professionals as necessary. Additionally, all Carnival ships stock influenza test kits and anti-viral medications for treating type A influenzas.
“Mexico has so many wonderful sites and attractions and feedback from our customers suggests that the majority support a resumption of port calls in Mexico. We know that they and our port destination partners are very much looking forward to our return,” he added.
Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is the largest and most popular cruise line in the world, with 22 “Fun Ships” operating voyages ranging from three to 16 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England, Europe and Bermuda. The line currently has two new ships scheduled for delivery between now and 2011. The first of those, the 130,000-ton Carnival Dream, is set to debut Sept. 21, 2009.