Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

With Its Latest Guidance, the CDC Inches Closer to Letting Cruise Ships Sail

By Rich Duprey - May 6, 2021 at 12:02PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

It's not the green light the industry was looking for, but it's getting there.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is inching closer to getting cruise ship operators back to sailing again, but it's moving at a glacial pace that continues to harm the industry.

Yesterday, the CDC issued its phase 2B and 3 guidelines of its conditional sailing orders that give cruise lines technical instructions on how to conduct simulated voyages. It says the industry has "all the necessary requirements and recommendations they need to start simulated voyages before resuming restricted passenger voyages."

It's not the all-clear sign the industry needs or wants, but it's another step forward.

Man being vaccinated

Image source: Getty Images.

Under the guidelines, cruise operators can test their safety plans by conducting simulated voyages with volunteer passengers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. They must sail for two to seven days with at least one overnight stay and agree to be monitored for a period of time afterward.

Cruise operators can skip the simulations if they vow that 98% of their crew members and 95% of their passengers are vaccinated.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH 1.51%) previously asked the CDC to waive its requirements because the company is requiring 100% of its crew and passengers to be vaccinated. Both Carnival (CCL 2.27%) (CUK 2.44%) and Royal Caribbean (RCL 0.52%) say they're monitoring the agency's guidance on how best to proceed.

The situation is complicated because Florida banned the use of so-called "vaccine passports" before being able to participate in daily life. Gov. Ron DeSantis is suing the CDC to allow cruise lines to begin sailing immediately.

"If you look at what's going on in Europe, in Asia, and in other parts, these cruise lines are sailing," he said. "They have been sailing safely even in areas where there's not widespread vaccine availability."

Norwegian says once it gets CDC approval, it will work with the governor to begin sailing out of Florida.

Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Carnival. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Stock Quote
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
NCLH
$13.77 (1.51%) $0.20
Carnival Corporation Stock Quote
Carnival Corporation
CCL
$10.57 (2.27%) $0.23
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Stock Quote
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
RCL
$41.90 (0.52%) $0.21
Carnival Corporation Stock Quote
Carnival Corporation
CUK
$9.65 (2.44%) $0.23

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
390%
 
S&P 500 Returns
125%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/11/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.