Carnival Cruise Line has announced plans to resume sailing from Texas starting in July.
The company’s Carnival Vista ship will embark from Galveston on July 3, and its Carnival Breeze vessel will follow on July 15.
However, Carnival passengers will have to prove they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can board.
On June 10, the cruise line confirmed that it will require proof of vaccination from passengers despite a new state law banning vaccine passports signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on June 7.
In an interview with FOX Business, Carnival spokesperson Vance Gulliksen said that the cruise line reviewed the Texas law and determined that it “provides exceptions for when a business is implementing COVID protocols in accordance with federal law.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently requires at least 95% of a cruise ship’s passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated in order to set sail. Cruise lines that want to book unvaccinated passengers must perform test cruises before being allowed to resume operations.
In statement, Carnival said that it plans to comply with CDC vaccination guidelines.
“The current CDC requirements for cruising with a guest base that is unvaccinated will make it very difficult to deliver the experience our guests expect, especially given the large number of families with younger children who sail with us,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “As a result, our alternative is to operate our ships from the U.S. during the month of July with vaccinated guests.”
Carnival, which is based in Miami, also hopes to relaunch cruise operations from Florida in July, but the Sunshine State recently passed a law prohibiting companies from requiring vaccination proof from customers. The cruise line is working with state officials and the CDC to find a solution to the conflict.
Florida has threatened to sue cruise companies that attempt to enforce CDC vaccination guidelines.
In response, Royal Caribbean International nixed plans to require vaccinations for passengers. The company will now just “strongly recommend” that customers get vaccinated before boarding.
Royal Caribbean has received permission from the CDC to conduct a test cruise at the end of June.