Royal Caribbean Group,
which has closed most of its cruises for the past year due to the pandemic, plans to resume some voyages from the Bahamas in June with adult passengers and crew vaccinated against Covid, the company announced.
Royal Caribbean (ticker: RCL) will use Nassau in the Bahamas as its home port for those seven-night voyages, which are scheduled to run from June to August.
They would be the first trips to the all-important Caribbean market for the Miami-based company in more than a year. Cruise companies have been closed for the most part for about a year due to the pandemic, leading to billions of dollars in losses and huge capital increases to shore up their balance sheets.
Royal Caribbean has made some sailings from Singapore and, through a joint venture, from Europe.
Royal Caribbean and its two main US peers:
Norwegian Cruise Line Participations
(NCLH) – are awaiting further guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on when they returned to resume travel from US ports.
Trips to Nassau, however, offer some possible clues as to what sailing will be like when cruises resume more widely.
The new itineraries “will be available to adult guests who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and those under the age of 18 with negative test results,” according to a statement issued by Royal Caribbean on Friday, adding that crews will also be vaccinated.
In the statement, Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said: “We believe that starting with cruises for vaccinated adult guests and crew is the right choice. As we move forward, we expect this requirement and other measures to inevitably evolve over time. “
Trips are expected to include Perfect Day stops at CocoCay, a private island destination in the Bahamas developed by Royal Caribbean; Grand Bahama Island and Cozumel, Mexico.
Royal Caribbean shares are up 21% so far this year as investors increasingly rely on a broader reopening of the economy. Lately there has been more optimism among Wall Street analysts about the outlook for the industry.
Still, Royal and his peers have spent hundreds of millions of cash each month while their fleets sit idle.
The company had an adjusted loss of $ 18.31 per share in 2020, compared to a profit of $ 9.54 the previous year.
Write Lawrence C. Strauss at [email protected]