Carnival, Norwegian Fall as Ebola Forces Ships to RerouteChristopher Palmeri
Cruise line stocks fell after Carnival Corp. and a company being bought by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. canceled stops in West Africa over concerns about the spread of Ebola.
Carnival, the largest operator, fell 5.5 percent to $37.34 at the close in New York, while Norwegian was down 2.8 percent to $34.60. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which said it doesn’t have stops in Africa, retreated 5.9 percent to $62.09.
The outbreak of Ebola has hurt travel industry stocks worldwide as investors weigh the potential impact on tourism and the U.S. plans to increase screenings of airline passengers. Vessels owned by Carnival and Regent Seven Seas, which has agreed to be acquired by Norwegian, canceled stops and changed itineraries to avoid the area.
Few Carnival ships stop in Africa, Roger Frizzell, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. Cruise lines often adjust their itineraries due to situations such as weather.
The company’s Seabourn division, which is rerouting a ship, will reimburse passengers for any canceled excursions or related port fees, he said.
“In most cases, there is not any compensation because new destinations have replaced the existing ones,” Frizzell said.
Jason Lasecki, a spokesman for Prestige Cruise Holdings, which owns Regent Seven Seas, said the company canceled one stop in Dakar that wasn’t part of a regular itinerary. In September, the company agreed to be purchased by Norwegian for $3 billion.
Ghana, Gambia and Dakar, Senegal, were pulled from the itinerary for the Rotterdam, operated by Carnival’s Holland America, according to Frizzell and replaced with Cape Town, South Africa; Mindelo, Ilha de Sao Vicente, Cape Verde; and Tangier, Morocco. The cruise departs Nov. 15.
Another Carnival ship, the Seabourn Sojourn, replaced calls at Dakar and Banjul, Gambia, with stops in Malaga and Cadiz, Spain, for a cruise starting Nov. 19.
The publication Travel Pulse reported on the port changes earlier today.