LONG BEACH, California, USA –
A cruise ship left Long Beach for tourist destinations in northwestern Mexico, the first ship of its kind to set sail from California in 17 months.
The Carnival Panorama will make a seven-day voyage with stops at the Mexican ports of Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlán before returning to Long Beach, Carnival Corp. reported in a statement.
The 323-meter (1,060-foot) Carnival Panorama debuted in 2019.
Passenger Bob Lechtreck noted that he and his wife were on the maiden voyage on December 11, 2019.
“I cannot express my great excitement to be at the Panorama for its inaugural return to service,” Lechtreck said in a text message to the Press-Telegram newspaper. “It’s been a long time since we’ve traveled and we couldn’t be happier to get back to our favorite activity.”
The pandemic affected the cruise business after passengers and crew members tested positive for COVID-19 and some ships were turned away from ports.
The industry has struggled with sanitary requirements from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to resume shipping in US waters.
The company noted that its operating protocols exceed CDC recommendations, which include that all employees are vaccinated and that all passengers are required to show a COVID-19 negative test.