What happened

Cruise ship stocks surged on Friday after a surprising jobs report boosted investors' hopes for a faster-than-expected economic recovery.

As of 1:30 p.m. EDT, shares of Carnival (NYSE:CCL), Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL), and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NYSE:NCLH) were all up more than 20%.

So what 

The U.S. economy added 2.5 million jobs in May, according to the Labor Department, which brought the unemployment rate down to 13.3%. That was in stark contrast to analysts' projections. Wall Street expected the economy to lose 8 million jobs, which would have increased the unemployment rate to nearly 20%. 

These surprising job numbers ignited a sharp rally in the stock markets, with all of the major indexes enjoying gains of at least 2%. The news also helped to further the rally in travel-related stocks, which followed American Airlines' (NASDAQ:AAL) announcement on Thursday that it would increase its number of domestic flights in July due to a sharp rebound in passenger traffic in May. 

Three cruise ships in clear blue water.

Cruise ship stocks soared on Friday. Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

A quicker economic recovery would certainly be beneficial to the cruise ship industry, which depends on customers having enough discretionary income to spend on vacations. And if people are willing to fly on planes during the coronavirus pandemic, as American Airlines' traffic metrics suggest, then they also may be willing to book cruises. That, too, bodes well for Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.