Another covid scare has taken its toll on Cruise Line stocks listed in the United States. The share price of Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line have all tanked in the last days few days. Adding to their pain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national public health agency of the United States, warned the public against taking cruise ships regardless of the vaccination status. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings stock ended 1.33% lower on Friday while that of Carnival Corp was down 2% and Royal Caribbean closed 0.6% lower.
“Avoid cruise travel, regardless of vaccination status. Even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants,” the CDC said in an advisor issued last week. “The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters onboard ships, and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose. Outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on cruise ships. If you travel on a cruise ship, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel and get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose if you are eligible,” it added.
Reports said that over 90 cruise ships have reported cases of covid-19 recently. CNBC reported that Cruise ships operating in US waters reported about 5,000 Covid cases to the CDC between December 15 – 29. This was a major spike compared with the first two weeks of the month when 162 cases were reported. The omicron variant of Covid-19 has been wreaking havoc in the United States where more than 2 lakh new cases were reported on Sunday, a new high.
The CDC warning for travelers comes as a blow to the cruise ship industry that has been under pressure since the pandemic began nearly 2 years ago now. Since January 2020, Royal Caribbean stock is down 43%, trading at $76.9 per share, while that of Carnival is down 57% to trade at $20.12 apiece, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings shares have tanked 65% to settle at $20.74 per share. Lindblad Expeditions Holdings’ share price is down 5% during the same time period, now trading at $15.6 per share.