As Belize plans to re-open for tourism, a question many are wondering is “When will cruise tourism return to Belize?”
Today, USA Today shared insight into the plans for Carnival Corp. The Cruise giant Carnival Corp has a few cruise lines with Belize as one of their cruise destinations in guests itineraries. When in Belize, Carnival passengers have the luxury of getting to enjoy a selection of adventures as they stop at Fort Street Tourism Village Cruise Port. This tender port– approximately 15 minutes from ship to shore allows for cruise passengers to have access to incredible Belize adventures. Guest can visit Maya Sites, go on jungle adventures, enjoy snorkelling the Belize Barrier Reef, visit one of the beautiful Northern Islands and much more – all easily accessible in one day.
Before COVID – 19 Belize welcomed approximately 333 cruise calls annually. Due to the pandemic, global cruise tourism came to a halt. With the world trying to navigate through the pandemic, in finding preventive measures at the same time keeping the economy afloat there has been many tough decisions being made with destinations like Belize now determining reopening strategies. Belize has a five phase reopening strategy for tourism. The Belize International Airport will be opened as of August 15th with a confirmed date for cruise tourism still unknown.
When will operations resume?
In June, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a “no sail” order in place until July 24 for any ship carrying more than 250 passengers and many major cruise lines don’t plan to resume operations until later this summer.
Starting August 1st, on Carnival’s website, it shows eight ships will be leaving from Miami, Port Canaveral, Florida; and Galveston, Texas. A interview by USA Today with CEO Arnold Donald highlights that the Carnival Corp. plans to open under a phased-in approach for its return to sailing, beginning with fewer destinations, fewer ships and fewer passengers. For now it is expected that none of Carnival Corp.’s lines will sail until earliest October because all have extended their North American suspensions through the end of September. Additionally countries travel bans and regulations can be the deciding factor influencing cruising dates.
CEO Arnold Donald states:
“the company will not make a full return in terms of passenger capacity until 2022 at the earliest. And [The] nature of restart is going to be almost country by country and destination by destination”
With Belize currently closed for international travellers – the date as to when cruise tourism will resume is unknown. However, Belize is almost a month away from reopening its International Airport to travellers and it is one of the few countries that are allowing American tourists to enter. With 92% of Carnival Cruise Line’s passengers being from the U.S. there is opportunity for Belize to be considered as a possible port for the cruise line when operations resume and in-country regulations are lifted.
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