SEATTLE — The Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company that operates Seattle-based Holland America, announced steps to “further strengthen its liquidity position in the event of an extended pause in guest operations due to COVID-19.”
Carnival and its brands will reduce work hours and salaries, furlough, or lay off employees across the company, according to a press release.
It wasn't announced how many employees would be laid off or put on furlough, however The Seattle Times reports nearly 2,000 people will be laid off. Most of Holland America’s land-bound staff work in Seattle and Santa Clarita, California. The company says a no-sail order from federal health officials means the company is not generating revenue. The cruise line canceled all of its voyages out of Seattle last week.
"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 Corporation & plc President & CEO Arnold Donald.
The furloughs and layoffs come as cruise and travel industries have taken major financial hits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Holland America Line announced in early May that it extended its pause of global cruise operations and canceled all Alaska, Europe, and Canada/New England cruises for 2020.