Cruise shares are rising after CDC canceled the sailless order and the business can plan to return


Florida, Port of Miami, row of cruise ships docked, not essential due to coronavirus.

Jeff Greenberg | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

Cruise stocks rose Friday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced they were replacing their nearly 8-month-old no-sail order with a less restrictive "conditional sail order".

The order without a sail expires on Saturday. The new conditional ordinance will either remain in effect until November 1, 2021, until the Department of Health and Human Services declaration of a public health emergency expires or when CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield decides to end it.

Shares in the world's largest cruise company, Carnival, rose more than 11% on the news Friday afternoon before hovering around 7%. Norwegian Cruise Line's shares traded more than 6% and Royal Caribbean's shares traded more than 5%.

The CDC change doesn't mean US cruising will resume next week or possibly soon, especially if new cases of the coronavirus continue to surge.

The new regulation creates a framework that will help the industry implement safety measures that will allow it to gradually resume operations in US waters, the CDC said in a statement. Before resuming passenger operations in commercial form, the companies will be checked by the CDC for the security of their protocols, the agency said.

"This framework provides a way to resume safe and responsible sailing," Redfield said in a statement. "It will reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks on ships and prevent passengers and crew from triggering outbreaks in ports and in the communities where they live."

The CDC originally issued a ban on cruise lines sailing in U.S. waters on March 14, after hundreds of coronavirus infections and multiple deaths from Covid-19 on board ships with outbreaks were reported around the world. The CDC previously said "that cruise lines are exacerbating the global spread of Covid-19" to justify the order.

Last month, Redfield pushed for the order to be extended to February 2021, according to Axios, who quoted two people familiar with the matter. Axios reported that Vice President Mike Pence overruled Redfield to extend the ban until October 31.


Steven Gregory