Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Destroy The Cruise Industry?

Even before President Trump’s address last night, the stock market was extremely low and the cost to sail for the next few months was at an enticing low. Despite your opinions on this virus or whether the media is inducing false fear, the world, more specifically the travel industry, is being negatively affected by the Coronavirus. As of this afternoon, the cost per share of Royal Caribbean stock was as low as $29. The first thought that came to mind was “maybe it’s time to buy some stocks,” but the honest truth is we don’t know what is going to happen.

When Princess Cruises’ ships, Diamond Princess and Grand Princess, were quarantined for fear of spreading the virus, at least 21 people tested positive after being on Grand Princess. Other ships have been turned away from ports for fear of the virus, including Holland America’s MS Westerdam, which found itself in limbo in February.

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Passengers disembark from the Princess Cruises Grand Princess cruise as it is docked in the Port of Oakland on March 9, 2020 in Oakland, California. Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Every Facebook group we are part of are being filled with questions and concerns about the Coronavirus. “Should I cancel my cruise?” “Think we should book because the prices are so low?” Will Disney World be closed?” “Who’s buying stocks?” “Should I cancel my trip?”

Princess Cruises, a Carnival Cruise Line company, announced this morning that they will be suspending all sailings for 60 days. All operations will be suspended March 12 to May 10 according to a statement from the cruise line shared with USA TODAY by spokesperson Negin Kamali.

“It is our intention to reassure our loyal guests, team members and global stakeholders of our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us, as well as those who do business with us, and the countries and communities we visit around the world,” Jan Swartz president of Princess Cruises, said in the release.


Viking chairman Torstein Hagen also announced it is cancelling cruises in a letter to passengers Wednesday that the company had made the “difficult decision to temporarily suspend operations” for river and ocean cruises beginning Thursday through April 30.

“This is a decision we made with a heavy heart, but with present circumstances what they are, we are unable to deliver the high-quality Viking experience for which we are known,” Hagen added. “We will stand by our guests, employees and partners in these challenging times and hope that they in turn will stand by us.”

As of Thursday morning, coronavirus had infected more than 127,749 people and killed 4,717 globally, according to Johns Hopkins data.


Royal Caribbean launched the new “Cruise With Confidence” policy allowing passengers to cancel any cruise up to 48 hours before you sail and not get charged a penalty but with our upcoming sailing in April, we are sure we speak for all loyal to Royal and shareholders alike, what will happen? Will someone get sick on board and we be quarantined? Or, will RCL follow suit and halt sailings? How long will this pandemic last and will the travel industry survive?

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