Shares in Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) were up sharply today on news that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given the group its first green light for test cruises.
The cruise company will be able to conduct simulated cruises from PortMiami on the Freedom of the Seas with volunteer passengers in late June to test out its COVID-19 protocols.
“CDC is committed to working with the cruise industry and seaport partners to resume cruising following the phased approach outlined in the CSO,” the Miami Herald quotes agency spokesperson Caitlin Shockey as saying in a statement. “Over the past month, senior leadership from CDC have met multiple times a week with cruise line senior executives to discuss the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO). During these meetings, participants asked questions and discussed the fastest path back to sailing without compromising safety. CDC and the cruise industry agree that the industry has what it needs to move forward and no additional roadblocks exist for resuming sailing by mid-summer.”
Interested in being one of the test passengers. Royal Caribbean has a “Volunteers of the Sea” page on Facebook.