Despite widespread outbreaks of the omicron variant, the cruise industry is enjoying smooth sailing.
Serenade of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas - have been paused while the return of its Vision of the Seas to cruising has been postponed to March 7, 2022, the cruise line said in a statement on Friday. Earlier this week, Royal Caribbean called off its Spectrum of the Seas cruise for Jan. 6 after nine guests on its Jan. 2 trip were identified as close contacts to a local Hong Kong COVID-19 case. The contacts have tested negative but the cruise ship will return to Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong on Jan. 5 to test all guests and crew who must take a second test on Jan. 8, the company said.
Shares of Carnival (NYSE: CCL) (NYSE: CUK), Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL), and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NYSE: NCLH) all surged on Friday, with the stocks up 5.1%, 4.7%, and 5.3%, respectively, as of 1:07 p.m. ET. Cruise stocks surged after Stifel analyst Steven Wieczynski declared 2022 was going to be the "Year of the Cruise!" No wonder the three top publicly traded cruise stocks surged on the back of that declaration. Given that cruises "massively underperformed" versus other reopening stocks last year, Wieczynski likes the setup for cruise stocks as top choices for investors playing the continued reopening in 2022.