Carnival Valor Won’t Sail from New Orleans Until November
MIAMI – Carnival Cruise Line has announced that the Carnival Valor, based in New Orleans, won’t return to operations until at least November 2021. The company announced similar postponements nationwide because of the ongoing pandemic.
“Like so much about this current global situation, we are adapting our plans as circumstances evolve and we are able to confirm alternatives,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We are disappointed that our return to seasonal ports … has been impacted and appreciate the support of those port partners and communities. The support of our guests, travel agents, ports and business partners has truly been overwhelming as we work through this situation.”
In November, USA Today reported that the industry will lose $32 billion in economic activity and more than 254,000 American jobs in 2020.
In New Orleans, the news hurts because ships are an important revenue source for the Port of New Orleans along with local restaurants, hotels and other tourism-dependent businesses.
“The complete shuttering of the cruise industry has significantly reduced port revenues and impacted the hospitality industry as well. However, the cruise industry as a whole is taking significant proactive public health measures so passengers can enjoy cruises safely,” said Jessica Ragusa, the communications manager for the Port of New Orleans.
Ragusa said the Cruise Lines International Association and its members have adopted a strong set of health protocols to aid a gradual return to service in the Americas.
“The core elements of these protocols go beyond any other sector of travel and tourism, including 100 percent testing of passengers and crew members – a travel and tourism industry first,” she said. “When the time comes, Port NOLA and our tourism partners will be ready to welcome cruise operations back because we know that when the impacts of COVID-19 subside, New Orleans and Louisiana will still attract domestic and international visitors.”