updated 9/1/2005 9:27:53 AM ET 2005-09-01T13:27:53

Carnival Cruise Lines said Wednesday the federal government has asked whether its cruise ships could be used as emergency shelters or help Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in some other way.

The world's largest cruise line said that although "to undertake such an endeavor would involve many complicated issues, we are actively taking a look at it."

Carnival operates 21 ships, each of which holds anywhere from about 1,500 to 3,000 passengers.

"It is our intention to work with federal officials to determine the feasibility of moving a ship into the area if that is their desire," the company said.

Carnival is owned by Miami, Fla.-based Carnival Corp.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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