After 15 Months, Carnival Cruise Line’s First Cruise Ship Sets Sail For Belize

by Carolee Chanona

On Saturday, Carnival—the flagship line of Carnival Corp., the world’s biggest cruise company—launched its first ship from a US port since the pandemic shut down its operations more than a year ago. Onboard, Carnival Vista’s passengers set sail from the Port of Galveston in Texas as one of Carnival’s fully-vaccinated cruises with a week-long itinerary, including a stop in Belize City on July 7. With the return of cruise tourism, Belize enters the fifth and final stage of its Travel Reopening Plan.

“Having our guests on board again is something we’ve been looking forward to for a very long time,” Carnival Vista Captain Andrea Catalani said in a statement Saturday. “Our crew is very excited and will provide them with the incredible Carnival vacation they’ve been so patiently waiting for.”

Carnival Vista will stop in Mahogany Bay, Honduras; Cozumel, Mexico; and Belize City, Belize. It’s the first ship from the cruise line to sail from a U.S. port in nearly 16 months. The Belize City cruise port, found inside the Belize Tourism Village, expects a Carnival cruise every Wednesday.

Vaccinated guests are not required to wear a face mask on board a vaccinated Carnival cruise, but masks are required in certain events, such as embarkation and debarkation. Carnival Cruise Line passengers must complete the final dose of their COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days ahead of sailing, according to the cruise line’s website.

Belize’s Cruise Ports

Belize City cruise port tourist village

The Belize City cruise port, found inside the Belize Tourism Village.

Belize’s original cruise port, Fort Street Tourism Village Cruise Port, is a tender port—approximately 15 minutes from ship to shore. Meanwhile, the recent docking port in southern Stann Creek District—the Harvest Caye Cruise Port—currently caters only for Norwegian Cruise Line passengers. Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has also indicated a return to service with Harvest Caye on August 9, 2021. NCL’s Norwegian Joy will depart from its homeport in Montego Bay, Jamaica on August 7, and will include Belize as a part of its week-long Western Caribbean itinerary.

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