(5:20 p.m. EDT) -- Carnival Cruise Line is out with much-anticipated itineraries for August, including the first cruise for new ship Mardi Gras and Carnival Panorama sailing from Long Beach, Calif.
The line said it plans to operate its August sailings on eight ships with vaccinated guests. If more that 95 percent of the guests are vaccinated, the ships can skip the test cruise process under regulations set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mardi Gras, with its noteworthy rollercoaster, will set sail from Port Canaveral on seven-day cruises on July 31, with pre-inaugural sailings in the eastern and western Caribbean. Carnival Panorama will sail from Long Beach on August 21, launching a return to seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises.
“We are very excited to finally welcome guests on Mardi Gras,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “With our desire to preserve summer vacations for our Mardi Gras guests, we are going to find a later date to formally christen her so that we can operate these pre-inaugural sailings just as soon as we can.”
She said the line was still working with state and local officials to finalize plans for its West Coast operations.
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Other returning ships are:
Carnival Magic, fresh from a dry dock, homeporting in Port Canaveral for four- and five-day sailings to The Bahamas and Caribbean beginning August 7. The ship is taking over the schedule originally assigned to Carnival Elation. Guests booking on Elation will be rebooked on Magic, which is a larger ship. Carnival Magic will also operate three new six-day cruises and one new eight-day cruise embarking on October 11.
Carnival Sunrise will enter service from Miami, effective Aug. 14, sailing four- and five-day cruises to The Bahamas and Caribbean.
Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze (from Galveston), Carnival Horizon (from Miami) and Carnival Miracle (from Seattle to Alaska) will continue with their cruises through August that are part of the line’s restart plans in July.
The release did not say whether kids who aren't vaccinated can be on the sailings. The CDC allows 5 percent of the guests onboard a ship that skips test cruises to be unvaccinated. On its Texas sailings, the line is implementing a lottery.
The line said guidelines and protocols for the announced sailings would come next week. Carnival said it has extended its pause of other ships through August 31, 2021.
Duffy said Carnival will “ramp up” more ships and homeports in September and beyond, as crew come back and receive COVID 19 vaccinations.
“Our focus remains on the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve and visit,” she added. “We are taking a deliberate approach so we can execute with excellence and deliver a fun experience to our guests, who have been tremendously patient and supportive throughout this pause.”