MIAMI -- Carnival Cruise Lines
chartered three of its cruise ships for six months as part of
Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
The ships, the Ecstasy, the Sensation
and the Holiday, have been chartered to the Military Sealift
Command on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency,
effective Sept. 5.
The Ecstasy and the Sensation, which
each accommodate 2,052 passengers, will likely remain docked in
Galveston, Tex.; the 1,492-passenger Holiday will likely be docked
in Mobile, Ala.
The ships will be used to house people
affected by the hurricane, said Carnival CEO Bob Dickinson.
Carnival has canceled the ships
scheduled sailings through early March -- each operates short
Caribbean cruises -- and providing full refunds to passengers
booked on affected sailings. Passengers who rebook will receive a
$100 per-person shipboard credit; agent commissions are
We trust our guests will understand
that the decision to enter into these charters was the right one,
Dickinson said. This inconvenience to our guests will provide
desperately needed housing for thousands of individuals.
As a result of the
charter, the Elation, which currently operates seven-day cruises
from Galveston will offer a six-day cruise departing Sept. 4 before
taking over the Ecstasys four- and five-day programs on Sept.
Passengers booked on
the Ecstasy will automatically be rebooked on the Elation, which is
identical in layout. The Ecstasys five-day cruise departing Sept. 5
Conquest -- which Carnival relocated to Galveston from New Orleans
-- will sail to its scheduled port calls from Galveston
indefinitely, Carnival has said.
To contact the
reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Rebecca Tobin at [email protected].