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Carnival cruises canceled through March due to coronavirus surges

Carnival cruises canceled through March due to coronavirus surges
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Three cruise lines owned by Carnival Corp. announced this week that they would extend their suspension of service through the spring in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In statements on the company's website, Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line all announced extensions of the suspensions through at least March, with Holland America pausing services additionally through April and Princess Cruises suspending service through May.

"We are sorry to disappoint our guests, as we can see from our booking activity that there is clearly a pent-up demand for cruising on Carnival. We appreciate their patience and support as we continue to work on our plans to resume operations in 2021 with a gradual, phased in approach,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, in a statement.

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Cruise ships emerged as early hot spots for the coronavirus as tight quarters led to the virus spreading rapidly among guests and crew on several ships that were often forced to quarantine offshore.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order suspending U.S.-based cruise services in the middle of the pandemic last spring, but White House officials reportedly ordered it be allowed to expire. Critics at the time accused the administration of attempting to appease the cruise industry.

Cruises in the Caribbean resumed in the fall, and the first ship to offer services later reported an outbreak of COVID-19 among several guests onboard.