Bor­der wor­ries force Car­ni­val to scrap Princess Cruises sail­ings

‘The Euro­pean Union has pub­lished in­terim guid­ance for the cruise in­dus­try to be­gin cruis­ing again’

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Oliver Gill

THE world’s big­gest cruise com­pany has be­gun can­celling next year’s trips in a fresh blow to an in­dus­try dev­as­tated by the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

For­mer FTSE 100 cruise op­er­a­tor Car­ni­val blamed bor­der re­stric­tions and the “con­tin­ued un­cer­tainty of air­line travel” for ax­ing Princess Cruises sail­ings in early 2021.

Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ pres­i­dent, said: “We share in the dis­ap­point­ment of this can­cel­la­tion for guests of our world cruises.” The can­cel­la­tions fol­low an an­nounce­ment by Cu­nard, also owned by Car­ni­val, that ser­vices will be sus­pended un­til March next year.

All sail­ings have been can­celled for Queen El­iz­a­beth un­til March 25, Queen Mary 2 un­til April 18, and Queen Vic­to­ria un­til May 16, Cu­nard said.

Shares in Car­ni­val, also listed on the New York stock ex­change, have plunged over fears that the Mi­ami-head­quar­tered com­pany faces a long road to re­cov­ery in the wake of the pan­demic. Smaller op­er­a­tors such as Cruise and Mar­itime Voy­ages, and Ger­man brand FTI Cruises have been forced into bank­ruptcy.

Car­ni­val has been forced into tap­ping in­vestors for bil­lions of pounds of emer­gency fund­ing. An­a­lysts from Moody’s, a debt rat­ings agency, said cruise op­er­a­tors were fac­ing a par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult fu­ture.

“Re­cov­ery for the cruise op­er­a­tors re­lies heav­ily on gov­ern­ment re­stric­tions,” they wrote. “The Euro­pean Union re­cently pub­lished in­terim guid­ance for the cruise in­dus­try to be­gin cruis­ing again.

“These guide­lines in­clude con­tin­gency plans for on­board break­outs, pre-board­ing health checks, so­cial dis­tanc­ing poli­cies, the use of face masks in pub­lic ar­eas and food safety.”

The Princess Cruises ves­sel Ruby Princess docked at Cir­cu­lar Quay in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia. The cruise line has can­celled sail­ings to­wards the be­gin­ning of next year

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