What happened

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH -4.62%) shareholders underperformed a declining market last month. Shares fell 10% in January compared to a 1% drop in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

That slump added to significant short-term losses for the cruise ship giant, which shed more than half of its value in 2020.

A cruise ship sits anchored near an island.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Like its peers, Norwegian remained under a near-complete global pause in sailings last month. On Jan. 19, the company extended its projected suspension through at least April due to continued COVID-19 outbreak concerns. Investor uncertainty was further bolstered by news of novel virus variants that may complicate vaccination efforts and force the cruise ship giant to continue relying on debt to finance its business.

Now what

Shareholders won't have a good read on the timing of Norwegian's coming growth rebound until a clear path emerges for the end of the pandemic. In the meantime, the stock will remain pressured by any developments, including further variant outbreaks and vaccine supply challenges, that seem to push that potential global recovery deeper into 2021.