Two Years Since Carnival Cruise Line First Announced Unprecedented Suspension

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Carnival Cruise Line will have all of its ships operational by May 2 of this year. This is the day that Carnival Splendor resumes operations from Seattle, Washington. 

Carnival Splendor resuming operations will end a period of two years that started on March 13, 2020. Since then, we’ve seen the departure of multiple Fantasy-class vessels and the arrival of one of the most modern cruise ships in the world. 

As an added bonus, and perhaps a celebration of the end of a terrible period, Carnival Cruise Line will be welcoming another new cruise ship this year, Carnival Celebration.

Carnival Celebrates Birthday By Bringing All Ships to US

Bringing Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor to the United States might have resulted from the cruise ban in Australia; it does, however, provide Carnival Cruise Line with a unique opportunity in what is its 50th Birthday year. 

Carnival Birthday Celebration
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

On April 24, Carnival Spirit will be sailing from Tampa to Barcelona, Spain, where she will arrive on May 8. Although it is cutting it close, for one of the very few times in the company’s history, all Carnival Cruise Ships will be operational from US homeports this May.

Carnival Splendor will be sailing for the first time in two years on May 2. This gives a short window where, technically, all Carnival Cruise ships are operational from a US port. 

Considering it has been exactly two years to the day, Sunday, March 13, that Carnival Cruise Line first announced a fleet-wide pause in operations due to the Coronavirus, having all Carnival ships sailing from a US homeport is something the cruise line can rightfully be proud of.

Carnival Inspiration Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Stories In Light /

The pause in operations caused Carnival Cruise Line to send nearly all crew members home for an extended period of time, all ships went into a layup, and Carnival, along with its sister brands went through one of the most difficult periods in its history. Something which is now, slowly but surely, coming to an end.

From the Heat in Australia to the Cold in Alaska

Carnival Splendor was called back to the United States earlier this year, due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding a restart of cruises in Australia, Splendor’s base of operations. The 113,573 gross tons, 3016-passenger cruise ship, is in Dubai at the moment and will be setting a course towards Seattle, Washington in the coming weeks.

Read Also: Carnival Cruise Line Releases Details Into 2024 for Redeployed Ships

Carnival shuffled some ships around in recent weeks, which means that Carnival Freedom will remain in the Caribbean, sailing from Port Canaveral, and Carnival Splendor will be heading to Alaska. With its retractable roof, Splendor is ideally suited for cruises in the cold and often rainy Alaskan climate with its retractable roof. 

Carnival Splendor Cruise Ship
Carnival Splendor in Alaska (Photo Credit: SeregaSibTravel / Shutterstock)

The first cruise, departing on May 2, will sail from Seattle and head to Tracy Arm Fjord, after which she sails to Skagway, followed by Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan, and the last port of call will be Victoria BC, on Vancouver Island, Canada. 

While Carnival Splendor will be the last ship to resume operations post-pandemic, she is not the last ship to sail for the first time this year. That honor belongs to the company’s newest cruise ship, Carnival Celebration

Carnival Celebration Brings a Meaningful End to Difficult Period

When she arrives in the United States, Carnival Celebration will be marking the end of a period that took far longer than anyone could have envisioned. Due to arrive in November of this year, Carnival Celebration’s arrival will also be the culmination of a year of celebrations for Carnival, which marked its 50th Birthday this week.

Carnival Celebration Cruise Ship
Render Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Celebration will be named in PortMiami in late November as she arrives at her new homeport. Her first cruise sails from Miami on November 21, 2022. This will be a 6-day Eastern Caribbean sailing calling on Grand Turk, Amber Cove, and Nassau, with two days at sea for guests to fully explore the new 180,000 gross ton vessel. 

Carnival Celebration is the second of the three Excel-class ships, sister ship to the hugely popular Mardi Gras, and the upcoming Carnival Jubilee, which will join the Carnival fleet in fall 2023.

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