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Midazolam September 5th, 2005 11:07 AM

Carnival news item
MIAMI - Carnival Corp. said Monday that cruise cancellations, the chartering of three ships for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and other costs related to the catastrophic storm should cut earnings by a penny to 3 cents a share, with most of the impact in the fourth quarter.

The world's largest cruise operator said it had to cancel one voyage and shorten two others for its Carnival Cruise Lines brand because of the storm, which hit the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29. The brand has chartered three ships to the federal government for six months to be used as shelters for up to 7,000 hurricane refugees.

The home port for two of the ships had been New Orleans, but the company does not expect them to operate from there for an "extended period of time" because of the damage. One will relocate indefinitely to Galveston, Texas.

"We have every intention of relaunching cruise service from the great city of New Orleans as soon as the infrastructure is in place so that our ships may contribute to the economic recovery of the area," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corp.'s chairman and chief executive.

He said that the third ship will return to Mobile, Ala., after the charter ends because hurricane damage to the port wasn't extensive.


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