Cruise stocks buck market sell-off and move higher after Carnival plans first European voyage since COVID-19 pandemic this weekend


Summary List Placement

  • Cruise stocks surged on Thursday after Carnival announced it would embark on its first voyage since the COVID-19 pandemic this weekend.
  • Carnival subsidiary Costa Cruises, based in Italy, will restart its sailing operations this Sunday.
  • Carnival expects its German-based subsidiary, AIDA Cruises, to resume selling on November 1.
  • The upcoming Cruise launch will be gradual and include increased safety and health protocols to combat COVID-19.
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Cruise stocks bucked the market sell-off that plagued technology stocks on Thursday and moved higher after Carnival announced two of its Europe-based subsidiaries would resume operations as soon as this weekend.

Costa Cruises, an Italy-based subsidiary of Carnival, will embark on its first voyage since the COVID-19 pandemic sidelined operations on Sunday, September 6. The one-week itineraries will include trips to southern Italian ports and be reserved exclusively for Italian guests.

On November 1, AIDA Cruises, a German-based subsidiary of Carnival, will resume sailing operations as well.

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Both cruise lines will restrict the number of passengers allowed to embark on the voyages, and will subject its crew and passengers to increased health and safety protocols to better combat COVID-19.

Following the disclosure, Carnival surged as much as 12% to $US18.74 in Thursday trades. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines jumped 9% and 13%, respectively.

Cruise line stocks are a central pillar of Fundstrat Global Advisors co-founder Tom Lee’s so-called “epicentre” stocks, which he expects to surge higher in anticipation of a successful COVID-19 vaccine being developed. Epicentre stocks are those that were hit hardest amid the rolling economic shutdowns due to the pandemic.