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Sept. 2 update: Carnival restarts/delays, cruises back at Kusadasi, Genting going strong in Hong Kong

Carnival Sensation’s Oct. 21 restart from Mobile has been moved to January, making a total of five ships operating from US homeports that will be moved to 2022
Here's a quick read of some of today’s coronavirus-recovery cruise news. This is being updated throughout the day.

Carnival restarts for November and beyond

With eight of its ships in passenger operations, and more restarting in September and October, Carnival Cruise Line announced additional restarts for November and beyond, including some delays. Adult vaccination, testing for all and mask requirements continue.

Carnival Valor will follow Carnival Glory in New Orleans with four- and five-night sailings starting Nov. 1. Carnival Legend will restart Nov. 14 from Baltimore, replacing Carnival Pride, which resumes Baltimore operations Sept. 12 and then repositions to Tampa following a Panama Canal cruise. Carnival Pride’s Tampa service is scheduled to start Nov. 14.

The new maiden voyage date for Carnival Radiance from Long Beach is Dec. 13, rescheduled from Nov. 5 due to a revised drydock transformation plan. Carnival Conquest’s restart from Miami on Oct. 8 was postponed to Dec. 13, while Carnival Sensation’s Oct. 21 restart from Mobile has been moved to January.

With Carnival Sensation, five ships operating from US homeports will be moved to 2022 including Carnival Liberty (Port Canaveral), Carnival Sunshine (Charleston), Carnival Paradise (Tampa) and Carnival Ecstasy (Jacksonville).

15 ships from seven ports by mid-November

'We are very pleased with the progress of our restart which will grow to 15 ships sailing from seven US homeports by mid-November,' Carnival President Christine Duffy said. 'We are making slight adjustments to our timeline to take into account supply chain realities and ensure that our destination and shore excursion offerings can meet the strong demand we are seeing from our guests.'

Carnival is also advising passengers booked in November and December that it will continue to meet the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s standard of vaccinated cruises (95% vaccinated crew/passengers) and that travelers will need to present proof of both vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test at check-in. A small number of capacity-restricted exemptions will be granted for children under 12 and others.

Carnival is working to set up mobile pre-cruise rapid testing sites at all of its homeports as a back-up alternative for vaccinated travelers who aren’t able to make arrangements. In addition, passengers will be asked to wear masks in most indoor venues where people congregate. Details are here.

Carnival's Australia Fun Ships delayed

Carnival also canceled four additional sailings for both Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor in Australia, where the biosecurity emergency was extended until Dec. 17. Cruises on both ships are now canceled up to and including Dec. 16.


A marching band and folk dance team performed courtesy of the Municipality of Kusadasi to welcome Blue Sapphire

Kusadasi welcomes first cruise ship back

After a long pause, today, Ege Port Kusadasi, part of Global Ports Holding, welcomed its first cruise vessel, Blue Sapphire, with 300 passengers on board.

The ship operated by Selectum Blu Cruises arrived Thursday morning and was welcomed with a water salute by Ege Port Kusadasi’s tugboat and an excited crowd at the port.

A marching band and folk dance team performed courtesy of the Municipality of Kusadasi. Kusadasi Chamber of Commerce presented local souvenirs to the passengers.

‘We are delighted to see a cruise ship with passengers after such a long break here in Kuşadası. It has been a tough two years for those in the travel industry of Turkey and today the wait is over. We are finally welcoming our cruise guests with delightful festivities,’ commented Aziz Güngör Ege Port Kusadasi General Manager and Global Ports Holding regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

Blue Sapphire is scheduled to visit the port for the next 13 weeks.

The Port has been accorded the World Travel and Tourism Council's Safe Travels and TÜV's Safe Tourism certifications since 2021 and has protocols to secure the health and safety of passengers and residents.  


Strong demand for Genting Dream's Hong Kong cruises, with many passengers splurging on premium accommodations

Dream Cruises going strong in Hong Kong

Dream Cruises successfully completed its first month of operations in Hong Kong with Genting Dream resuming sailings from Kai Tak Cruise Terminal on July 30. Since then, Genting Dream has welcomed more than 20,000 passengers.

‘Completing one month of cruise operations without any COVID-19-related incidents has shown our precautionary measures are effective and has provided more peace of mind for our potential customers,’ said Kent Zhu, president of Genting Cruise Lines.

Bookings for Genting Dream have been robust since the start of operations with many of the first cruises sold out (based on the required reduced capacity) and strong demand for upcoming cruises as well.

Genting said early findings paint a picture of travelers who have been vacation-starved over the past year and a half and are willing to spend more on their holidays. They're splurging on premium accommodations with the utilization rate of Genting Dream’s suites in the all-inclusive, all-suite The Palace at nearly 80% (based on reduced capacity).

Some 55% of passengers have consisted of families. Around 25% of passengers said they intend to book another Genting Dream cruise.

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