Royal Caribbean finally joins industry in suspending all cruises until June
It was only a matter of time, but Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE: RCL) just updated its sailing schedule and announced it is suspending virtually all cruises until June.
As the rest of the industry had previously announced their own cancellations until after May, Royal Caribbean was simply following the lead of the cruise industry fleet. With the exception of a group of ships that have resumed sailing out of Asia under very limited conditions, Royal Caribbean said all voyages were on hold until May 31, except those under the banner Azamara, which were suspended until June 30.
The cruise industry is still waiting for a word from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control on when they may resume shipping. Although the agency issued a conditional navigation order last year, which most believe would allow cruising to resume, it has in fact kept the industry in port.
In the meantime, cruise line spending continues to rise, debt has skyrocketed and the industry is burning money. And even when they do finally get the green light, it will likely only be a limited number of reduced capacity vessels, meaning the challenge of staying afloat financially will be on-going.
Analysts don’t expect the industry to return to pre-pandemic shipping levels for several years, which could be extended longer the CDC waits to clear ships returning to the high seas.
Royal Caribbean said it would start sailing from Israel in May. It will only be open to Israelis who will be able to travel to the Greek Islands and Cyprus aboard its new ship Odyssey of the Seas.
It is similar to policy he adopted with its Quantum of the Seas ship which is only open to residents of Singapore.
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