What happened

Shares of Carnival (CCL 0.61%) had jumped a solid 3% as of 9:45 a.m. EDT on Thursday after the cruise line announced it is on track to have 50% of its fleet sailing again by October, and 65% by the end of the year.  

So what

In its press release this morning, Carnival said that by the end of October, it will have resumed operations on 42 ships covering eight of its cruise line brands: Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Seabourn, Costa, AIDA, P&O, and Cunard. And the company said it aims to have nearly 65% of its capacity in service to begin the new year.

The company said its "gradual, phased-in approach" using what it called enhanced protocols, vaccinated cruises, and updated testing and masking policies will enable it to conduct sailings from major ports around the world, including the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, the U.K., Western Europe, and the Mediterranean.

Smiling woman with hair flying in the breeze stands on a cruise ship balcony

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Not all the news is good, however. Yesterday, the company announced that two of the brands that will hit 50% capacity in October, Princess and P&O, will be extending their pause in operations out of Australia because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions in that country. Carnival currently doesn't expect to resume cruising out of Australia until about mid-January for most cruises.  

Regardless, most analysts are predicting that if Carnival keeps to its schedule for restarting the other cruises, the company will turn profitable again as early as next year. Analysts forecast $0.22 per share in profit for Carnival in 2022, valuing the stock at 110 times forward earnings.