Shares of Carnival Corp. plunged by more than 20% on Thursday morning after it announced its Princess Cruises Line would halt operations for 60 days amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
This comes after all confirmed cases of the new coronavirus aboard cruise ships have been on Princess vessels. The Diamond Princes has been docked in Yokohama, Japan, with at least 700 confirmed cases. The Grand Princess docked Monday in Oakland, California, has about 21 confirmed cases.
Princess Cruises announces it will "voluntarily pause global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months (60 days), impacting voyages departing March 12 to May 10.” https://t.co/JDwgJwbtEK pic.twitter.com/smhLBIL6cL— Dan Linden (@DanLinden) March 12, 2020
Here's the press release from Carnival:
In proactive response to the unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global spread of COVID-19 and in an abundance of caution, Princess Cruises announced that it will voluntarily pause global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months (60 days), impacting voyages departing March 12 to May 10.
"Princess Cruises is a global vacation company that serves more than 50,000 guests daily from 70 countries as part of our diverse business, and it is widely known that we have been managing the implications of COVID-19 on two continents," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises.
"By taking this bold action of voluntarily pausing the operations of our ships, 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," added Swartz.
While this is a difficult business decision, we firmly believe it is the right one and is in alignment with our company's core values. Rest assured the long-serving and dedicated professionals at with our company's core values. Rest assured the long-serving and dedicated professionals at our company will make best use of this time to prepare Princess Cruises' fleet of cruise ships for a successful return.
Those currently onboard a cruise that will end in the next five days will continue to sail as expected through the end of the itinerary so that onward travel arrangements are not disrupted. Current voyages that are underway and extend beyond March 17 will be ended at the most convenient location for guests, factoring in operational requirements. Princess will do everything possible to return each guest home with the greatest amount of care possible. During this time, our operations and medical teams across the fleet will remain vigilant in their care and service for guests and crew onboard.
For those who are impacted by this business decision, Princess is offering guests the opportunity to transfer 100% of the money paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice. To add a bonus incentive for guests to accept this offer, the company will add an additional generous future cruise credit benefit which can be applied to the cruise fare or onboard expenses. In addition, Princess will honor this offer for those guests who had made final payment and cancelled their booking on or after February 4, 2020. The future cruise credit can be used on any voyage departing through May 1, 2022.
We wonder how many will actually transfer the credit or demand their money back? Is the cruise industry as we know it about to die?