What happened

Shares of all the major cruise line stocks are riding higher today, with Carnival (NYSE:CCL) (NYSE:CUK), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NASDAQ:NCLH), and Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) shares up 9.8%, 8.5%, and 5%, respectively, as of 12:50 p.m. EDT.

And if you're thinking that the reason for this is "coronavirus news," you're almost certainly right.

Cruise ship at sea

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Let's go down the list, shall we?

On the vaccines front, Financial Times is reporting that the Trump administration is on the cusp of granting an "emergency use authorization" to AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine, which is currently in phase 3 trials but could conceivably begin distribution by as early as next month.  

Similar news is coming out of the FDA, which on Sunday approved the use of convalescent plasma (blood plasma drawn from patients who have already been infected with but survived COVID-19) to treat new coronavirus patients. President Trump relayed the news in a press conference Sunday, calling it "very good news."

Last but not least, MarketWatch reported late this morning that in Sweden, health experts are beginning to suspect that neither vaccines nor convalescent plasma may even be needed -- because their country has succeeded in achieving herd immunity. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven is quoted as saying "the strategy that we adopted," of not locking down the economy, and permitting most people to make their own decisions about how to protect themselves from the virus, "I believe is [the] right [one]." Data just reported by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control shows Sweden's infection rate is just 37 per 100,000 people, below the infection rate in France -- and far below America's CDC-quoted rate of 1,734 cases per 100,000. 

Now what

In short, there's a little something in here to make everyone optimistic about our chances of beating the pandemic and reversing the recession. Whether you place your faith in vaccines, blood transfusions, or letting a disease burn itself out, chances are looking better than one or the other (or the other other) might work.

Investors who sold off cruise stocks in droves on worries it could be a year or more before Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise get back to cruising are rushing to get back aboard today to ensure they don't miss the boat.