Shares of Norwegian Cruise Lines Ltd. (NYSE: NCLH), Royal Carribean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL), and Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL), are all trading higher this week after the CDC suggested last Friday that cruise lines could resume business as soon as this summer. Cruise lines were and continue to be one of the hardest hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. While much of the U.S. economy is slowly recovering, cruise ships have still been rendered inactive for over a year. The CDC layed out its plan for cruise lines, which recommends that passengers be fully vaccinated before boarding a ship, and that passengers must also still exercise caution by wearing masks and socially distancing.
Following the announcement, Norwegian sent a letter to the CDC on Monday, outlining its proposal to resume business by July 4th. The Company will require both its staff and passengers to be fully vaccinated in order to board their ships, and the Company will also be conducting “test voyages” in the coming months to prepare for standard voyages. “Vaccinations are the primary vehicle for Americans to get back to their everyday lives… We believe that through a combination of 100% mandatory vaccinations for guests and crew and science-backed public health measures … we can create a safe, ‘bubble-like’ environment”, said Norwegian CEO Frank Del Rio.
Royal Carribean had announced similar plans to Norwegian back in early March. As Israel has led the world in COVID-19 vaccination, Royal Carribean has planned to begin launching “fully vaccinated” voyages from the country starting this coming May. The Company’s ship will depart from the port of Haifa and travel throughout the Mediterranean to Greece and Cyprus. All passengers will be required to comply with the standards set by the Israeli Ministry of Health. Though cruising has resumed in other parts of the world, restrictions put in place by the U.S. have hampered the industry’s recovery.