JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The cruise line industry is working to rebuild its strength after two years of lockdown from due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Jacksonville is about to get in on the action.
The Carnival Spirit cruise ship will depart JaxPort on Monday in a symbolic return to getting back to business. It will depart from Jacksonville for a five-day cruise to the Bahamas.
The company, not only using the departure to celebrate its 50th birthday, but also putting JaxPort back on the departure map.
“It is hugely important to see cruising back in Jacksonville,” said Margie Jordan, a travel agent with Jordan Executive Travel Service. “We’ve been waiting for this. We’ve seen them ship from other ports, but to have it back here in Jacksonville is a great sign that things are betting better with the pandemic and the travel industry as a whole, the cruise industry.”
Jordan says she’s hearing from a lot of consumers who have been waiting to cruise for the past two years. The uncertainty of COVID and travel restrictions threatened the industry, which is on the way to bouncing back.
Carnival announced this month that 17 of its ships will be in service by the end of 2022. For people looking for a deal, Jordan says now is an opportune time to score a sale.
Carnival will depart at 5 p.m. Monday, but not before the cruise line holds a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome guest back on board.