Royal Caribbean International (RCL 0.74%), Carnival Cruise Line (CCL 0.88%), and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH -0.52%) dominate the global cruise market, including the United States. None of the cruise lines, however, are registered as U.S. businesses, nor are the majority of their employees Americans.
That means that the three companies likely won't be eligible for direct help from the $2 trillion bailout package the Senate has passed and the House appears likely to pass (as of 9 a.m. EDT on March 27).
What does this mean for Royal, Carnival, and Norwegian?
All three companies were profitable in 2019. Royal Caribbean has drawn down its credit line and all three cruise lines have taken steps to cut expenses (including slowing capital expenditures and marketing efforts). Some costs, of course, like fuel and food, decrease simply because the companies are not cruising.
And while the companies themselves won't be helped by the $2 trillion bailout, some U.S.-based workers likely qualify for aid should they be furloughed or laid off. In addition, many U.S.-based businesses that support the cruise lines may also be helped.
"We don't need a bailout in terms of giving us money. Getting a loan guarantee would be helpful," Carnival chief executive Arnold Donald said recently on HBO, The Washington Post reported.
Banks will want a piece of the pie
While the cruise industry may struggle mightily for the next few months, it's hard to imagine that the coronavirus pandemic will lead to people never wanting to cruise again. These are profitable companies that will eventually go back to making money. It seems likely that lenders will be willing to make that bet helping the industry get back to sea.