MIAMI -- Carnival Cruise
Lines ships currently housing Hurricane Katrina refugees will leave
New Orleans March 1, marking the end of Carnivals six-month
contract with Federal Emergency Management
Carnival chartered the
ships back in September to FEMA for $192 million, plus $44 million
in reimbursement for lost revenues.
FEMA said Feb. 24 that
these ships completed their vital mission and that the agency
requested bids from other commercial shipping companies to provide
emergency housing from March 1 and beyond.
Carnival said the ships
-- the Sensation, the Holiday and the Ecstasy -- will be
refurbished and will reenter service by late March or early
Accountability Office and the Homeland Security Dept. reported
earlier this month that the use of cruise ships to house refugees
was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal account of
the governments spending of Katrina disaster aid.
reporter Johanna Jainchill, send e-mail to [email protected].