Carnival Cruise Line overlooks Jacksonville for early 2022 restart (Courtesy of the Jacksonville Business Journal) — Carnival Cruise Line announced its early 2022 lineup of destinations — and Jacksonville is not one of them.
Jaxport officials expressed hope as recently as a fortnight ago that when Carnival declared where it would be sailing early next year that Jacksonville would be included.
The company is starting some cruises back up in January, but the Carnival Ecstasy, the vessel that operated at Jaxport, is one of three U.S.- based ships whose service has been canceled at least until the beginning of March.
“Our restart plan continues to excel across all metrics, and we are looking forward to completing the restart of the fleet in the new year,” Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said in a statement. “We appreciate the support and patience of our guests, travel agents and port and destination partners who have been key to this successful restart.”
Carnival’s three other Sunshine State destinations will all have at least one ship with routes starting in January.
Miami will have four routes: Carnival Freedom, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Sunrise and Carnival Conquest. Port Canaveral will have four routes: Mardi Gras, Carnival Elation, Carnival Magic and Carnival Liberty. The Carnival Pride will operate out of Port Tampa Bay.
Wednesday’s announcement means Jacksonville will go almost two full years — or longer — without cruise service. Carnival suspended its cruise service on March 13, 2020, and the Centers for Disease Control issued its No Sail Order one day later.
Despite the setback, Jaxport is confident that cruise service of some variety will return this fiscal year. The port projected it would earn $1.22 million in cruise revenues for the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1.