All the world's largest cruise companies have completely suspended passenger shipping operations (fleetwide) due to the spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19). Unlike airlines, that are set to receive a cash infusion from the US Congress' USD 2 trillion financial bailout package, cruise companies might not see a cent.
The version of the bill (passed by the Senate on Wednesday and to be voted on Friday) specifically targets air carriers. Businesses in other industries that are not specified are also eligible for USD 4.5 trillion in loans, but only those that "are created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States and that have significant operations in and a majority of its employees based in the United States. "
Cruise ships are usually registered in foreign flag-states (flags of convenience). Most large cruise vessels are registered in The Bahamas and Panama. In addition to tax loopholes, these foreign flags also come with fewer regulations and lower minimum wages.
The cruise industry's lobbying arm (spending USD 3+ million annually) is likely to kick into high gear in order to make sure any secondary rounds of relief included cruise companies. Meanwhile, layoffs are rocking the cruise industry.
Carnival Corporation is taking a positive outlook after CEO Arnold Donald told staffers in a video on March 20 that the company was not planning mass cuts in employee pay or headcount.
For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.