Carnival Corp has taken a major step in getting back to sailing after more than a year of laying up its entire cruiseship fleet as a result of Covid-19.

On Wednesday, the Arnold Donald-led owner of 91 cruiseships announced plans to resume guest cruises in the US, Caribbean and Europe on eight of its nine brands.

The New York-listed cruise behemoth said in mid-May that it planned to have 14 vessels across seven brands offering European itineraries by July.

Miami-based Carnival's latest plans to start pulling up anchor on 42 more ships in July across AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Seabourn.

The company said it is not yet able to sail its P&O Australia brand "based on current border and travel restrictions in place in the country".

Carnival expects to gradually return all 42 vessels to revenue sailing by the end of its fiscal year, which ends on 30 November.

Half of Carnival's capacity to sail again

These ships, which represent 52% of the company's total passenger capacity, will carry out initial cruises with enhanced health protocols drafted by government and health authorities, Carnival said.

Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn are slated to start sailing again in July, while Carnival Cruise Line is set to sail again by the end of August.

Princess Cruises expects to start offering trips to Alaska and around UK coastal waters next month.

The brand also plans to sail from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii and the Californian coast in September.

Carnival Corp, which is led by chief executive Arnold Donald, plans to have 56 ships sailing again by the end of 2021. Photo: Len Kaufman

Holland America Line expects to start cruising again to Alaska in July, from Greece in August, Italy and Spain in September and to Mexico, Hawaii, California and the Caribbean this autumn.

Luxury brand Seabourn expects to get propellers spinning again in July with sailings from Greece and Barbados, and in Antarctica in November.

Carnival Cruise Line plans to start cruising eight ships by the end of August with sailings out of the US cities of Galveston, Miami, Port Canaveral, Long Beach and Seattle.

Already cruising in Europe

Brands that have been sailing in European waters since May include AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard.

Italy's Costa Cruises began offering European itineraries with sailings in Italy and Greece. It also plans to sail to France and Spain in July and Portugal and Turkey in September.

German brand AIDA Cruises began cruising again in the Canary Islands in March and in Greece and Germany in May.

The line is now offering trips off Spain and Italy and plans to start sailing off Portugal and Malta from July and in the Persian Gulf from November.

P&O Cruises (UK) plans to hold cruises this summer around UK coastal waters beginning this month, and then to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic coast starting in September.

Cunard expects to start sailing again this summer around UK coastal waters in July, followed by voyages to the Iberian coast and Canary Islands.