Royal Caribbean hopes to restart U.S. cruises in July

Royal Caribbean said on Thursday it hopes to get cruise ships sailing again in U.S. waters in July after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new measures to speed up approvals.

Late on Wednesday, the CDC made public a letter to the cruise industry that said it was “committed” to allowing cruise ships to resume passenger operations in the U.S. by mid-summer.

It came after Alaska and Florida sued the CDC - a lawsuit that sought to overturn the year-long ban on cruise operations due to the health crisis.

In the letter, the CDC said a ship can start open water sailing if it attests that 98% of its crew and 95% passengers are fully vaccinated.

However, for Royal Caribbean Chief Executive Officer Richard Fain there are still many concerns that need to be resolved.

In a call with analysts he said while it could be possible to restart cruising by mid-July, the restart does not mean that they will immediately go into full operation.

Unveiling earnings on Thursday, Royal Caribbean reported an adjusted loss of $1.1 billion for the first quarter ending March 31.

Despite the possibility that Royal cruise ships will set sail soon, shares of the company were down in midday trading Thursday.