Cruise lines have been hunched over on the starting blocks for a long time. And it’s only getting worse. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NYSE: NCLH) announced on Tuesday that it is canceling all sailings through the end of March. Its business will have been suspended for more than a year when cruises resume in April — and naturally the restart date could get pushed out again.
It’s been exactly two months since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) replaced its “No Sail Order” with a “Conditional Sail Order” that paved the way for a return to cruising for U.S. passengers. Investors initially cheered the news, sending shares of Norwegian Cruise Line and larger rivals Carnival (NYSE: CCL)(NYSE: CUK) and Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL) higher, but reality hasn’t been as kind. Instead of rushing to fulfill the new guidelines it seems as if the country’s three leading cruise lines are riding out the storm. With now two viable vaccines on the market are Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean just waiting for enough of its fan base to be vaccinated? Cruise lines requiring proof of vaccination records before letting passengers sail again may seem outrageous, but it may not be as far-fetched as you think.