Carnival Ship Delivery Delayed Due to Coronavirus

The entry to service of Carnival's newest ship, Mardi Gras, is being delayed to February due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Carnival Corp.  (CCL) - Get Report said the delivery of its newest ship, Mardi Gras, is being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares of the Miami company at last check were down 3.9% to $15.01. Peer companies Royal Caribbean Cruises  (RCL) - Get Report and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings  (NCLH) - Get Report also saw their stock prices ease.

Carnival said Mardi Gras, the first LNG-powered ship to operate in the Western Hemisphere with the first roller coaster at sea, will now enter service from Port Canaveral, Fla., on Feb. 6, 2021. 

Itineraries out of Port Canaveral for departures from Nov. 14 to Jan. 30, 2021, have been canceled. 

In addition, Carnival Radiance's dry dock at the shipyard was suspended this spring when the covid-19 pandemic resulted in a nationwide lockdown. 

Carnival said it is now evaluating shipyard options to complete the transformation, but the ship is likely not going to be completed until the spring.

As a result of the delayed arrival of Carnival Radiance, Carnival Breeze will be redeployed from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral and will assume the itineraries for Carnival Radiance from Nov. 8, 2020, to April 24, 2021.  

As a result, Carnival said, passengers on 18 Carnival Breeze sailings from Fort Lauderdale scheduled to operate from Nov. 7 to March 7, 2021 are being notified that their cruises have been canceled.

Carnival Magic's transatlantic and European itineraries from March 31, 2021, to May 3, 2021 have been canceled. 

Seven sailings previously scheduled for Carnival Breeze from Fort Lauderdale from March 13 to April 24, 2021, will move to Miami and those passengers will sail on the same itinerary, but on Carnival Magic operating from Port Miami.

Cruise lines in particular have been battered by the outbreak, which stopped all but essential travel outright for close to two months and has generated massive headwinds for the travel and tourism industry.

On Monday, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian unveiled a joint task force to help develop safety standards for restarting their businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We continue to assess the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on global commerce, public health and our cruise operations," Christine Duffy, Carnival's president, said in a statement. 

"In addition to our current pause in service, there have been many other unintended consequences, including shipyard, dry dock and ship delivery delays, and related changes to our deployment plans for our fleet." 

Last month, Carnival said it was extending its pause of cruises in North America as the company continues to struggle with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.