June 4, 2020 / 7:15 AM / a month ago

Carnival's Princess Cruises extends suspension of some voyages

FILE PHOTO - A fishing boat sails past the Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess cruise ship as it docks in Manila Bay during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cavite city, Philippines, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

(Reuters) - Carnival Corp’s (CCL.N) Princess Cruises on Thursday extended the suspension of some of its voyages in Australia, Canada and Taiwan as ports around the world remain shut due to the coronavirus crisis.

Cruise lines, hammered by a crisis which has seen some ships develop into high-profile infection hotspots, in recent days have been steadily pushing back cancellations well into the second half of 2020.

Princess Cruises, long a favourite of older travellers, said it has extended the delay of operations on all cruises sailing in and out of Australia through mid-September on the Sea Princess, Majestic Princess, Sun Princess and Sapphire Princess.

At least three of Princess Cruises liners became hotbeds for coronavirus infections. One of them, the Ruby Princess, became part of a homicide investigation in Australia as the country’s deadliest virus infection source.

Morgan Stanley analysts said it will be challenging for cruise ships to structure social distancing in a way that does not put off passengers or make the business model unviable. They expect sailings to resume in 2021.

Carnival, which is also listed on the London Stock Exchange, is set to lose its seat at the top table of British blue chips after the COVID-19 crisis knocked the value of their shares to below the threshold of London’s prestigious FTSE 100 index.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Shailesh Kuber

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