Royal Caribbean aims for tentative Aug. 1 set-sail date

Royal Caribbean further suspends most cruises through July

Royal Caribbean has further suspended most cruises through July, with voyages set to begin on Aug. 1 as the travel company plans for business after the novel coronavirus pandemic, the company announced.

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Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, which earlier in the week announced a loss of $1.4 billion in the first quarter after the virus forced its entire fleet to port, will extend the suspension of all fleets, except ships traveling from China, the company said in a Wednesday press release.

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Royal Caribbean Cruises, Freedom of the seas cruise ship anchored in Labadee. Haiti on October 12, 2009. (iStock)

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Royal’s CEO, Richard Fain, told CNBC on Thursday the Aug. 1 sail date is tentative, and subject to change based on conditions pertaining to COVID-19. The decision also hinges on the need for permission from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which issued a no-sail order to cruise companies on March 14.

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“We’re not saying we’re confident we are starting on Aug. 1. We won’t come back until we’re sure we have done everything we can to work to protect the safety of our guests and crew,” Fain said.

Wall Street has appeared to overlook the reported billion-dollar loss, focusing instead on bookings for next year. The Miami cruise company said that bookings for 2021 are within “historical ranges.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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