NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Cruise season is ramping up and Norfolk is joining in on the fun.

Carnival Cruise will resumed cruises from Norfolk Sunday, May 15, with the 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic departing from the Half Moone Cruise Center and onto a six-day journey to The Bahamas.

This was first cruise vacation to sail from Norfolk in more than two years. Executive Director at Nauticus, Stephen Kirkland, says they are ready to go.

“It’s a very busy day we’ve got about 3,812 guests that we’re going to be welcoming on to this big vessel behind me,” said Kirkland.

Carnival Magic is the largest ship to depart from Norfolk and will be one of 11 voyages to depart from Norfolk’s Half Moone Cruise Center in the summer and fall 2022.

In total, 11 voyages with various itineraries will depart from Norfolk this summer and fall, visiting destinations in Bermuda, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“We’ve gone from 0 activity on our pier to quite literally the busiest cruise season we’ve ever had in the history of Norfolk’s program180 thousand passengers will be coming through this year,” Kirkland stated.

He says they’ve taken COVID precautions very seriously. Crews still wear masks on board the ship and 98 percent of the guests are vaccinated.

Teresa Smart and Melody Harris says they took their monitored Covid test 48 hours before boarding.

“I feel more secure on a ship than I do.. at Walmart,” the two chuckled.

“You feel safe, I really do feel safe this is my 13th cruise this year. I really feel safe, I’ve not had COVID,” said Harris.

Kirland says this marks the first trip since the pandemic, with many more to come.

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