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Carnival Cruises Downsizing Fleet Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

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(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The world’s largest cruise line says it is cutting its fleet in the wake of the pandemic.

The company plans to eliminate 13 ships from its fleet in the coming weeks and months.

Carnival Cruises owns nine cruise lines altogether, including Holland America and Princess Cruises, for a total of 104 ships.

However, the company’s vessels have remained grounded since March.

“They’re burning through cash, so when they come back, they might be coming back in a different format,” says Port Canaveral CEO Capt. John Murray.

Officials say the industry could move toward larger ships, which can operate more efficiently during a time of social distancing.

Larger ships may lose less money at half their passenger counts, when they do start cruising again. That means smaller ships could be scrapped or sold off.

Carnival did not specify which ships will be eliminated from its fleet.

Its largest-ever new ship, the 5,000 passenger Mardi Gras, was slated to begin cruising from Port Canaveral this year.

The current goal is for cruises to resume later this year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last Thursday that it has banned cruising in U.S. waters until at least Oct. 1, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.