Carnival (NYSE:CCL)(NYSE:CUK) continues to slowly find its sea legs. The company announced Friday that its Germany-based AIDA Cruises will resume sailing the following day, with operations restarting in Italy.
The resumption will kick off with its AIDAblu ship, which is slated to make a departure Saturday from the port of Civitavecchia near Rome on a seven-day tour with ports of call on the Italian mainland and Sicily. AIDAblu is to sail these weekly cruises on a regular schedule until Nov. 28.
AIDA will become the second Carnival cruise line to relaunch operations. The first was Costa Cruises, which last month restarted -- like AIDA -- with sailings around Italy, with the difference being the departure cities (Trieste and Genoa). Two of the company's ships were involved with the Costa relaunch, and a third was added earlier this week.
Carnival said it has designed a "comprehensive" set of guidelines to safeguard the health of its guests, which will be a prime concern given the recent growth of coronavirus cases in many parts of Europe. These protocols will be updated based on the latest medical knowledge.
In the words of Carnival's Chief Communications Officer Roger Frizzell:
As we offer travelers a phased return to cruise vacations, we will continue sharing important learnings and best practices among our world-leading cruise line brands and across the industry to help ensure the resumption of cruise operations is done with the best interests of public health at the forefront.
Judging by the movement of Carnival's two share classes on Friday, investors are cautiously optimistic about this second restart. Both stocks rose marginally on the day against the flat performance of the S&P 500 index.