The cruise ship shutdown will stretch into the new year, Carnival Cruise Lines announced Wednesday.
Carnival canceled all of its U.S. cruises through the end of January, guaranteeing the company’s shutdown would last at least 10 months.
For Galveston, however, the end of the shutdown could be in sight.
Carnival’s announcement specified that it would cancel cruises out of seven ports — Baltimore, Charleston, Jacksonville, Long Beach, Mobile, New Orleans and San Diego — until the end of February.
The company left open the opportunity, for now at least, that cruising could return to Galveston in February. In its announcement, Carnival said its would resume cruises from Galveston some time after it resumes operations at ports in Miami and Port Canaveral.
No cruises have sailed from the United States since March because of federal bans and voluntary cancellations caused by the coronavirus.
Carnival’s announcement was the first by a major cruise ship company to cancel sailings into 2021.
A preliminary cruise calendar published on the cruise-industry website crew-center.com lists eight Carnival cruises that were previously scheduled to leave Galveston in January.
In October, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced cruise companies could begin a process of returning to business, but only after meeting a strict set of requirements that includes making port-specific plans on how to test, quarantine and hospitalize cruise ship passengers who contracted COVID-19.
At Tuesday’s Wharves Board of Trustees meeting, port officials talked about the new CDC order but trustees said they hadn’t received any specific plans about what kind of processes would be used at the Port of Galveston.