Oil-Free Cruising in the Gulf of Mexico

by  Zach Custer | Jul 2, 2010
Carnival Elation
Carnival Elation / Photo courtesy of the cruise line

More than two months have passed since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico occurred, the ecology and wildlife of the entire region has been put into jeopardy as well as the livelihood of countless Americans. Tourist destinations like Pensacola, on the pristine Florida panhandle, have been marred by oil, keeping the beach open but the waters closed off for wading and swimming (however, most other areas in Florida remain oil-free). Over 87,000 squares miles of commercial and recreational fishing area have been shut down, stretching from Atchafalaya, Louisiana to Panama City Beach, Florida. However, the cruise industry working in the Gulf has yet to be affected.

Carnival Cruises, which currently offers itineraries out of the four major U.S. ports along the Gulf of Mexico, has yet to see detrimental impacts from the oil spill. The Carnival Elation, which leaves out of the port of Mobile, Alabama, as well as the Carnival Conquest and Ecstasy, based in the port of Galveston, Texas, are all still on schedule for cruises in July and August. Likewise, the Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Legend, working from Tampa, Florida, and the Carnival Triumph, based in New Orleans, Louisiana, all remain on schedule. Additional cruise lines will station ships alongside Carnival during the peak winter season.

For more answers to general questions regarding the oil spill, check out this article from the NY Times, or visit Expedia’s oil spill travel resource page.

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