Norwegian Cruise Line Falls as It Extends Sailing Delays

Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line fall after the company says it's keeping cruise ships docked at port through at least the end of September.

Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line  (NCLH) - Get Report declined Wednesday after the company said it was keeping its cruise ships docked through at least the end of September amid ongoing concerns over the coronavirus and its potential to incubate on cruise ships.

Shares of the Miami-based company were down more than 8% in trading on Wednesday after it said it was extending its previously announced suspension of global cruise voyages through at least Sept. 30, and in some cases through October.

Cruise lines in particular have been battered by the coronavirus pandemic, which stopped all but essential travel outright for close to two months and has generated massive headwinds for the travel and tourism industry, particularly cruises.

A saving grace for Norwegian: The voyage cancellations currently don't include September Seattle-based Alaska voyages, the company said, a popular and lucrative route. Other sailings including its Canada and New England offerings will remain off the table due to due to travel and port restrictions. 

Norwegian “will continue to work in tandem with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal government and global public health authorities to take all necessary precautions to ensure the health, safety and security of guests, crew and the communities visited,” the company said in a statement.

Norwegian last month posted a significantly wider-than-expected first-quarter loss as the coronavirus pandemic upended the cruise-line industry, taking down Norwegian’s profits and revenue with it.

Surprisingly, however, the company said it continues to see demand for cruise vacations, “particularly beginning in the fourth quarter 2020 accelerating through 2021, with the company’s overall booked position and pricing for 2021 within historical ranges.”

The company had $1.8 billion of advanced ticket sales as of March 31. It also added $2 billion-plus in cash to its coffers from a debt offering last month.

Shares of Norwegian were down 8.68% at $19.14 in trading on Wednesday.