Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NYSE:NCLH) jumped 4.8% in 1 p.m. EDT trading Monday after the cruise operator announced that it will resume cruising out of Seattle, to Alaska, beginning Aug. 7, 2021.
Norwegian added the caveat that “the restart of cruising in the U.S. is contingent on obtaining a Conditional Sailing Certificate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
However, Norwegian confirmed that it “expects [this certificate] to be granted in the coming days,” adding that “all guests and crew [will be] required to be fully vaccinated.”
Lending further confidence to Norwegian’s prediction, Reuters reported this afternoon that President Biden intends to sign an “Alaska tourism bill” today. The bill, advised White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, will permit cruise ships “to visit Alaska this year, a critical step toward returning to normal in a state where one in 10 jobs is in the tourism industry.”
A few other caveats bear mentioning, however. Permitting cruise ships to visit Alaska does not necessarily permit cruise ships to sail out of Seattle in the first place to reach Alaska. And Psaki’s “this year” promise does not quite dovetail with Norwegian’s statement of a firm date for its first cruise departure out of Seattle en route to Alaska — August 7.
In predicting when cruise stocks might start cruising again, and booking revenue, the devil’s in the details. And since it appears that not all of the details have yet been worked out — caveat investor.
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