Cruise cancellations another blow to tourism industry

Carnival Cruise Lines cancels New Orleans sailings through February 2021
Updated: Nov. 18, 2020 at 5:58 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans tourism industry learned of a second hit to an already rough start in 2021. Carnival cruise lines announced it is canceling all cruises from the New Orleans port through the end of February.

Ryan Uhlich planned for sun and sea spray this November.

“We were supposed to go this week. We were set to go for Thanksgiving,” Uhlich said.

Now he’s just hoping next spring will work out.

“We’re still getting bad news and that sort of thing. I also am aware that Carnival for New Orleans has canceled now January and February,” Uhlich said.

Carnival said in order to make sure they can follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations to keep passengers and crew safe all US sailings are canceled through January.

New Orleans, Baltimore, Charleston, Jacksonville, Long Beach, Mobile and San Diego are canceled the following month as well.

Kelly Schulz, Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Relations at New Orleans & Company said the cruise industry is vital to the city’s tourism.

New Orleans and Company is tasked with supporting the city’s tourism industry. Schulz said some surveys show cruisers have spent $100 million in the city.

“New Orleans is a very popular cruise destination because people see it as two destinations in one,” Schulz said.

In addition to the extra hotel stays, shopping, restaurants and other typical tourist spending Schulz said the ships’ large crews also spend time and money in the city on their off time.

“It’s a huge loss for our industry, but again we are working with our cruise line partners and we’re working with all of the cruise line industry associations to make sure so that when it is time for cruises to come back that we are doing so in a way that our visitors are remaining safe,” Schulz said.

Ulich hopes things can get better so their family reunions can get back on track.

“I wouldn’t want to bring my significant other or mom. Mom’s coming too. I would not want to bring her on there and have something devastating happen. It would just be awful, so I want care to be taken. If the numbers continue to go down, a vaccine comes into play all those things work to getting back to the normalcy of life which in this family is cruising,” Ulich said.

The CDC allowed a no sail order to expire on October 30, giving cruise lines the option to sail from the US following strict guidelines.

Carnival intends to focus on Miami and Port Canaveral first then expand to Galveston before other ports. Tampa sailings are canceled through March.

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