(11 am EDT) -- Carnival Cruise Line has withdrawn one of its most popular ships from Australia, Carnival Spirit, and will redeploy it in Jacksonville, Florida from March.
The line said the "continued uncertainty of when cruising will resume in Australia" was the deciding factor for pulling Carnival Spirit out of Australia, where it has been based for almost 10 years.
The 2,124-passenger ship will operate four- and five-night voyages to the Bahamas including Nassau, Bimini and Princess Cay.
Senior Cruise Director John Heald Reveals the Carnival Spirit News
"As we continue our successful restart of guest operations in the U.S., we are making some adjustments in vessel deployments," Heald wrote.
"We have delayed the restart of Carnival Sensation. And, because of the continued uncertainty of when cruising can resume in Australia, we are bringing Carnival Spirit to the U.S. Carnival Ecstasy will reposition from Jacksonville to Mobile and sail the Carnival Sensation itineraries, effective with the planned March 5 restart.
"Carnival Spirit will position to Jacksonville to sail the published itineraries from that port, effective with the planned restart on March 7."
He added: "Thanks so much and as always we say a massive thank you to you all for your understanding through all these changes that allow us to keep cruising and to do so safely and to give you the FUN you so deserve."
Cruise Critic Boards Members Welcome the News of Carnival Spirit's Return to the U.S.
U.S.-based Boards members largely welcomed the news of Carnival Spirit's return after 10 years Down Under:
"In a move that either says Carnival is done waiting for the draconian measures to an end down under, or we have ship flip flops coming, The long lost Carnival Spirit is returning. Happy news in Jacksonville," wrote jimbo5544.
Posesmom wrote: "This was our first ship back in 2008, I would absolutely love to sail her again!"
And BrilliantSeas stated: "Glad to have all four Spirit class ships back in U.S. waters. We can only hope the move is permanent or they send one of the Conquest class ships to Australia when the time comes. With the loss of four of the Fantasy class, we could really use the smaller Spirit class for height-restricted ports and/or to open up new home ports on the U.S. East Coast."