Carnival Corporation Announces Layoffs a Week After Revealing Planned Return

Company was not eligible for a government bailout

side view of a cruise ship in the water
Carnival Cruise Line expects to burn through $650 million by the end of 2020. Getty Images
Headshot of Ryan Barwick

The Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, operating Carnival Cruise, Holland America and Princess Cruises, announced layoffs and furloughs this morning, in addition to pay cuts across senior management, to help weather the economic storm of Covid-19.

Carnival and its competitors haven’t sailed since March, when most shutdown orders went into effect. But, just last week, the cruise line announced that it would begin a phased return to service, bringing roughly eight ships to ports in Florida and Texas by Aug. 1.

Unlike the airline industry, Carnival wasn’t in line for a federal bailout as the company is incorporated in Panama.

Carnival didn’t say which divisions would be impacted, or whether the cuts were made at its Miami headquarters or across its fleet.

“Taking these extremely difficult employee actions involving our highly dedicated workforce is a very tough thing to do. Unfortunately, it’s necessary, given the current low level of guest operations and to further endure this pause,” said Carnival president and CEO Arnold Donald in a statement. “We look forward to the day when many of those impacted are returning to work with us, and we look forward to the day, when appropriate, that once again our ships and crew are delighting millions of people at sea and we can be there for the many nations and millions of people who depend on the cruise industry for their livelihood.”

In the announcement, Donald noted that only 38% of guests who have had their cruises canceled and rescheduled have requested refunds. He also added that booking trends for the first half of 2021 were within “historical ranges,” although he didn’t share the actual figures.

@RyanBarwick Ryan is a brand reporter covering travel, mobility and sports marketing.