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Carnival plans to resume cruising in August, but Brisbane voyage canned


Carnival Cruise Line says it plans to gradually resume cruising in North America in August, nearly five months after it halted operations because of the coronavirus.

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But operations from Australian markets will be on hold through until at least August 31 and a planned sailing from Honolulu to Brisbane on October 6 has already been cancelled.

Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line is the largest brand owned by Carnival Corporation, which also owns Princess Cruises.

Princess Cruises’ ship Ruby Princess has been linked to more than 20 coronavirus deaths and 600 infections across Australia after 2700 passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney in March.

A Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess will continue in Sydney on Tuesday.

Sailings from the United States will begin on August 1 or soon after, with eight ships setting off from Galveston, Miami and Port Canaveral.

Those cruises would sail to destinations including the Bahamas and Cozumel, Mexico, according to Carnival’s website.

The US Centers for Disease Control issued a no-sail order to cruise companies on March 14.

It was extended and is set to expire July 24, unless the agency decides to lift it sooner.

The CDC said infectious diseases could easily spread when crew members from a ship with an outbreak transfer to other ships.

It note=d outbreaks of COVID-19 on cruise ships also posed a risk because passengers could spread the disease into communities across the world after disembarkation.

Carnival Cruise Line said it was still determining what specific measures it will take to prevent future outbreaks once it resumes sailing.

“We continue to engage with the CDC and government officials at a variety of levels about new protocols we would implement prior to a return to sailing,” the company said. “We will also be in discussions with officials in the destinations we visit.”

Carnival said passengers would get refunds or vouchers for future travel if their cruises were cancelled.

Carnival Cruise Line has 27 ships and transported five million passengers last year.

Other cruise companies are also making plans to return to service.

Royal Caribbean said it intended to resume at least some sailings on June 12, while Norwegian Cruise Like said it planned to restart some operations on July 1.

Cruise companies have taken a huge hit from the new coronavirus, which stranded some ships at sea with sick passengers and crew.

A month after the no-sail order went into effect, the CDC said it knew of at least 15 ships with crew still on board showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Carnival Cruise Line halted new sailings on March 13. It initially expected to be able to sail again on April 10.

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