What happened

Shares of cruise line operators Carnival (NYSE:CCL), Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH), and Royal Carribbean (NYSE:RCL) were all soaring by double-digit rates Monday morning.

Carnival opened 11% higher today and Norwegian and Royal were up 15% each.

So what

A series of positive developments inspired hope among cruise ship investors that the worst may be behind the industry and they could extend their rally for a third consecutive trading day.

A cruise ship in open water.

Image source: Getty Images.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who spooked the markets last week with his gloomy economic assessments, seemed to take a softer stance in a 60 Minutes interview Sunday night, suggesting GDP could plunge 30%, but that he didn't foresee an economic depression.

Combined with better news about new COVID-19 cases slowing and more businesses being allowed to reopen to jump-start the economy again, there was a feeling cruise ships may sail on calmer seas sooner rather than later.

Now what

The euphoria is likely to be short-lived. While cruise ship investors can be forgiven for feeling as though land is on the horizon after being lost at sea, there is still a long way to go before the industry will be functioning properly again.

Even though Powell was marginally more upbeat than the last time he spoke, he still says it may not be until well into 2021 that stability is achieved. He also believes finding a COVID-19 vaccine is essential for the change to occur, but some scientists think that may not even be possible.