The Royal Caribbean Group and Carnival Corporation will press ahead with returning to cruises this summer even though two guests aboard Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Millennium cruise ship have tested positive for coronavirus.
More than a year after several cruise ships hosted a major coronavirus outbreak and with so many Americans now vaccinated, cruise lines are scrambling to get started.
Although some ships are already sailing again, ships carrying more than 100 people are prohibited from coming to Canada until February 2022. The decision was announced by Transportation Minister Omar Al-Ghubra earlier this year, although the ban could be rescinded. early if the Canadian government decides it is safe to resume sailing.
Shares in Royal Caribbean, Carnival Corporation and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. fell. , which took heavy losses last year due to restrictions that halted sailing, increased by between one and 2 percent in response to the report of positive COVID tests.
In response to a question from Reuters on Friday, Royal Caribbean declined to elaborate on the guests who tested positive or the circumstances of their infection, saying only that it would not change its plans for the summer.
A source close to Carnival, who asked not to be named, said the company was going ahead as planned.
Putting preventive measures to the test
The Celebrity Millennium, one of the first ships in North America to resume sailing, said Thursday that the individuals are asymptomatic, are in isolation and are being monitored by paramedics. The company was also conducting contact tracing and accelerating tests for all contacts.
All guests on the Celebrity Millennium were reportedly required to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative COVID-19 test before sailing from St Maarten last Saturday.
“I don’t think it’s about that much of an issue, and it’s actually an opportunity for Royal to show how it’s dealing with its biggest post-pandemic fear,” said Evan Fences, chief investment officer at Tigress Financial Partners.
Cruise lines are in discussions with Florida, where some cruises will sail, as the state’s governor has lobbied against people who have to show proof of a vaccine. The cruises are scheduled to begin in June and early July, and sail to the Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera and Alaska.
Cruise expert Stuart Sherwin, who is aboard the Celebrity Millennium, told Reuters that life on the ship Thursday night continued as planned, with dinner, shows and evening entertainment. He said no one on the plane was wearing masks.