Royal Caribbean Suspends Cruises Through End of 2020 as COVID Cases Rise Globally

Cruise operator Royal Caribbean Group said on Monday it would stop all its cruises through the end of the year, extending previous suspensions, as coronavirus infections continue to increase globally.

The company’s announcement comes days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a framework for a phased resumption of cruise ship operations, after a no-sail order issued in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic expired on Saturday.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd earlier in the day said it plans to extend the suspension of its cruises starting December through the end of the year.

Royal Caribbean reported negative revenue for the first time last week, as well as a billion-dollar quarterly loss.

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise had previously set up an expert panel to safely resume operations, as the cruise industry came to a virtual standstill after many vessels became hotbeds of infection and some operators even faced lawsuits for onboard outbreaks.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

Photograph: Cruise ship Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas docked at Port Willemstad in Curacao on April 3, 2018.

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