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Tampa Cruises Probably Not Sailing Until Fall

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Carnival Cruise Lines
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Carnival Cruise Line has announced that its ship Paradise, shown above, will be dry-docked through the fall. Paradise called Port Tampa Bay home. Port Tampa Bay officials say that cruises likely won’t be returning until the fall at the earliest.

Port Tampa Bay officials say that cruises won’t likely return until fall at the earliest -- or possibly even 2022.

The possibility of a summer with no cruises is slowly starting to settle in at Port Tampa Bay.

Officials had budgeted for at least one ship to set sail with 50 percent capacity by April. That would mean about $1.8 million in revenue.

But that’s changing as cruise lines continue cancelling their plans to relaunch.

“Carnival (Cruises) has already advised us that the summer ship (Paradise) normally assigned to Tampa will be undergoing dry dock and will be returning to service in November,” Port Tampa Bay’s vice president of business development Wade Elliot said at a board meeting Tuesday.

“At this point it certainly doesn’t appear that we will see anything return to regular cruise activity until the fall.”

Cruises at the port have been on hold since March 2020, as cruise lines wait for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to update safety suggestions.

“The cruise industry is standing at a standstill, waiting for the CDC to release technical guidelines that it will require for those additional sailing certificates which will include embark and debark detail, destination agreements, and a variety of things,” said Elliot.

When cruises do eventually set sail, the CDC will more than likely require companies to do test sailings with limited passengers or conduct “simulated voyages.”

Other federal safety and health precautions include building onboard laboratories to test passengers frequently for the coronavirus throughout the duration of their trip. This will help to accurately keep track of cases on board and limit any possible outbreak.

“Port Tampa Bay is working closely with our cruise line partners to follow the updated CDC guidelines for the conditional sailing order and we are prepared to welcome them back when they are ready,” said director of communications Lisa Wolf-Chason.

The Florida Ports Council says, so far, the economic impact of COVID-19 on the 15 ports of Florida has reached $22 billion, cutting $775 million in tax revenue, and affecting 170,000 jobs.
The possibility of a summer with no cruises is slowly starting to settle in at Port Tampa Bay.

Officials had budgeted for at least one ship to set sail with 50 percent capacity by April. That would mean about $1.8 million in revenue.

But that’s changing as cruise lines continue cancelling their plans to relaunch.

“Carnival (Cruises) has already notified us that the summer ship (Paradise) assigned to Tampa will be undergoing dry dock and is hoping to return to service in November,” Port Tampa Bay’s vice president of business development Wade Elliot said at a board meeting Tuesday.

“At this point it certainly doesn’t appear that we will see anything return to regular cruise activity until the fall.”

Cruises at the port have been on hold since March 2020, as cruise lines wait for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to update safety suggestions.

“The cruise industry is standing at a standstill, waiting for the CDC to release technical guidelines that it will require for those additional sailing certificates which will include embark and debark detail, destination agreements, and a variety of things,” said Elliot.

When cruises do eventually set sail, the CDC will more than likely require companies to do test sailings with limited passengers or conduct “simulated voyages.”

Other federal safety and health precautions include building onboard laboratories to test passengers frequently for the coronavirus throughout the duration of their trip. This will help to accurately keep track of cases on board and limit any possible outbreak.

“Port Tampa Bay is working closely with our cruise line partners to follow the updated CDC guidelines for the conditional sailing order and we are prepared to welcome them back when they are ready,” said director of communications Lisa Wolf-Chason.

The Florida Ports Council says, so far, the economic impact of COVID-19 on the 15 ports of Florida has reached $22 billion, cutting $775 million in tax revenue, and affecting 170,000 jobs.

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