PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – Disney, Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean all announced this month the companies will wait even longer to restart, Port Canaveral officials now predict cruises might return in July.
Port Canaveral commissioners approved a revised port budget to update its losses to $43 million.
Fortunately, with savings built up from record years before coronavirus, Port Canaveral CEO Captain John Murray is confident the port will outlast the pandemic even all the way into next year.
Murray believes the COVID-19 vaccine will hit the masses by summer and the industry will finally restart.
“It’s time that we get this business back,” Murray said.
Port officials said it is most likely the beginning of the restart will feature one ship per cruise line and each ship will operate at 50% capacity.
Captain Murray said with a new administration in Washington, the port is hoping to receive federal aid.
Murray noted airlines and airports have received billions, while seaports have received nothing.
“The cruise industry took a hit and unfairly so. It didn’t get around the world as quickly as it did on cruise ships. It got around the world on airplanes,” Murray said about the virus.
The first cruises will be crew members only, the next set of cruises will be volunteers, all before regular passengers can get a ticket.