What happened

Cruise ship stocks fell on Wednesday after Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH -0.88%) extended the suspension of its voyages for several more months. 

As of 11 a.m. EDT, shares of Norwegian, Royal Caribbean (RCL -0.66%), and Carnival (CCL 0.67%) (CUK 0.74%) were down 7%, 8%, and 6%, respectively.

So what

After the market close on Tuesday, Norwegian announced that it was suspending nearly all voyages across its Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands that were scheduled to embark between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30. Only its Alaska voyages departing from Seattle in September are excluded from the voyage cancellations.

A cruise ship is sailing in the ocean.

Voyage suspensions drove cruise ship stocks lower on Wednesday. Image source: Getty Images.

Moreover, Norwegian also canceled some voyages through October, including sailings from New England and Canada, citing travel and port restrictions.

Now what

It's likely only a matter of time before Carnival and Royal Caribbean follow Norwegian's lead and suspend voyages until at least October.

Norwegian said that it will continue to work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other global health authorities to "take all necessary precautions to ensure the health, safety, and security of guests, crew, and the communities visited." However, with COVID-19 cases rising at an alarming rate in many U.S. states and international locations, it's possible that the CDC will again extend its no sail orders for the major cruise ship operators. Health authorities in Canada, Spain, and Australia have already extended sailing restrictions for cruise ships in the past month.

Thus, it appears that Norwegian -- and likely Carnival and Royal Caribbean -- will continue to bleed cash for longer than many investors hoped.