Four US lines will resume a limited range of cruises in July, while European brands Costa, AIDA will add to the places they currently sail to while P&O and Cunard will offer trips around the UK coast before widening it to other places in Europe.
In total, 42 of the 91 ships in Carnival’s fleet will be used or 52% of its capacity.
“The initial cruises will take place with enhanced health protocols developed in conjunction with government and health authorities, and informed by guidance from the company’s public health, epidemiological and policy experts,” Carnival said.
The P&O owner has been racking up huge losses because of the suspension of cruises on safety ground during the pandemic and posted a US$2bn deficit in its latest quarter.
Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer, said: “We are excited to see eight of our world-leading cruise line brands sailing this summer.
“The broader restart of cruising marks a critical step in the recovery of our brands and the industry as a whole.
“In working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, as well as authorities in destination countries, the company’s brands have developed a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols for protection and mitigation across the entire cruise experience for its initial cruises.”
The resumption of cruises will not please environmental groups, who have slammed Carnival for pollution at sea, diesel emissions and plastic use.
The FTSE 250 group yesterday responded with a new set of green initiatives that included a vow to halve its single-use plastic waste by the end of this year and also to cut food waste by 30% by the end of next year and by 50% by 2030.
Cruise ships are notorious polluters and the London-listed group added it intends to cut its carbon rate per berth by 40% by 2030 relative to 2008 using a combination of LNG and battery, fuel cell and biofuel options to power its fleet.
Bill Burke, chief maritime officer, said: “The new set of 2030 sustainability targets and 2050 aspirations build on the momentum of the company’s performance relative to its 2020 sustainability goals, which were achieved and in some cases surpassed in 2019, a full year ahead of schedule.
“As the company continues to work toward the broad restart of guest cruise operations, it is maintaining its focus on its environmental, social and governance performance.”
Shares eased 0.5% to 1,718.6p.