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Royal Caribbean Expects to Return to Service on Aug. 1

By Rich Smith – May 20, 2020 at 1:47PM

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A quarterly loss is just part of Royal Caribbean's problems.

Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL 3.91%), the parent company of such cruise line brands as Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises, announced Wednesday that "given ongoing global public health circumstances [it] has decided to extend the suspension of most sailings through July 31, 2020."

Royal Caribbean added that it expects to return to service on Aug. 1. The company also clarified that sailings from China will only be suspended through June 30.  

Collage showing a cruise ship, a man in a face mask and a microbe

Image source: Getty Images.

The company's move does not appear to be prompted by additional guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC extended its industrywide no-sail order in April, but has not announced any additional suspensions since then.  

Rather, Royal Caribbean appears to be updating its schedule based on past action by the CDC, as well as the status of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. According to the CDC's website, the April extension remains in effect until 100 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. Since the order was published in the Federal Register on April 15, Royal Caribbean would not have been able to sail out of U.S. ports before July 24.

In related news, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH 4.26%) extended its own "operations pause" through July 31 today. Carnival Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean rival Carnival Corporation (CCL 3.60%), on May 4 extended its "service pause" to Aug. 31.  

Royal Caribbean stock is down 2.9% in Wednesday afternoon trading, while Carnival stock is down only 0.3%, and Norwegian Cruise stock is actually up a bit. Service postponements aren't the only news affecting Royal Caribbean stock today, however. The company also reported its first-quarter 2020 earnings this morning -- or more precisely, its first-quarter 2020 loss: $6.91 per diluted share.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Carnival. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Stock Quote
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
RCL
$45.76 (3.91%) $1.72
Carnival Corporation Stock Quote
Carnival Corporation
CCL
$9.22 (3.60%) $0.32
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Stock Quote
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
NCLH
$13.96 (4.26%) $0.57

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