Cruise lines Norwegian and Carnival head in opposite directions as industry cautiously plans to reopen

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The world’s third largest cruise ship operator has questioned its ability to stay afloat as a company for longer, even though one of its biggest rivals said it was taking its first steps towards the reopening after COVID-19.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. has warned investors that he does not have enough money to cover his financial obligations this year, an announcement which has caused a massive sale of the company’s shares.

“COVID-19 has had, and should continue to have, a significant impact on our financial condition and operations, which adversely affects our ability to obtain acceptable financing to finance the cash reductions resulting from the operations,” said Norwegian. Cruise Line.

The company announced an emergency sale of stocks and bonds to raise US $ 1.6 billion to keep the business afloat.

Norwegian stocks lost 14% on the New York Stock Exchange to change hands just below $ 13 per share. As early as February, these same stocks were worth more than $ 55 a piece.

Cruise ships were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a non-navigation order to all cruise lines in U.S. waters on March 14.

The order was due to expire on April 10, but has since been extended several times. Unless there is a further extension, the sailing ban must expire on July 24. But the Norwegian’s disastrous warnings on Tuesday cast doubt on his ability to stay in business.

Carnival announces 8 new cruises in August

Norwegian’s somber tone for his future comes as rival Carnival has said he is taking the first tentative steps toward reopening operations later this summer.

Carnival – the world’s largest cruise operator, which owns 27 ships and transported five million people last year – said it was booking eight cruises from Texas and Florida in August to the Caribbean and Mexico.

“We are continuing to dialogue with the CDC and government officials at various levels on the new protocols that we will implement before we return to sailing,” said the company. “We will also be in discussion with the managers of the destinations we will visit. “

The CEO of Carnival recently said that the company could last until 2020 without any income from cruises.

Tara Smith, professor of epidemiology at the College of Public Health at Kent State University, said she did not know how to cruise safely. Even with reduced capacity, she said, ventilation systems can still spread droplets through confined spaces.

“Everything should still be far away,” she said. “Dance, concerts on board, other types of entertainment?” Doubtful. Swimming pools? Probably overcrowded. Having dinner? No idea how they would do it. “

Royal Caribbean, the world’s second largest cruise operator, has yet to publicly announce the date of its return to service.

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