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Carnival and Other Cruise Operators Hit After CDE Extends 'No Sail Order'

Carnival and other cruise companies sees shares slump after extended cancellations in response to the No Sail Order issued by the Centers for Disease Control
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Shares of Carnival Corp.  (CCL)  and other cruise operators fell Monday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended a "No Sail Order" for cruise ships for nearly three months in order to combat the spread of coronavirus. 

"Carnival Cruise Line shares the global priorities of health and safety for all. We will use this extended pause to continue to take care of the crew that remains on board and continue to bring non-essential crew home," the company said in a statement Monday. 

The company says that it is in contact with guests and travel agent partners in order to minimize the disruption of the cancelled trips with the company's customer service representatives now taking calls from home. 

The CDC said "there are approximately 100 cruise ships remaining at sea off the East Coast, West Coast, and Gulf Coast, with nearly 80,000 crew onboard."

Carnival shares fell 7.2% to $11.53 Monday. Year to date, the stock is down nearly 77% as bookings and travel have collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL also fell, losing $6.29, or 16%, to $33.95. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. NCLH fell $1.84, or 14%, to $11.27.

Carnival shares got a boost last week after the Saudi sovereign investment fund disclosed a stake of 8.2%, or 43.5 million shares, in the cruise line.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund is now the third largest stakeholder in the company, which has a market cap of about $7 billion.

The investment fund's stake in the company is valued at nearly $370 million.

Two of Carnival's Princess Cruise Lines ships -- Diamond Princess and Ruby Princess -- saw outbreaks of COVID-19 that resulted in fatalities early in the pandemic. In late March, four passengers died aboard Carnival-owned cruise ship Holland America's Zaandam cruise ship and two people on board tested positive for coronavirus.