Royal Caribbean lost US$1.4 billion in the first quarter after the novel coronavirus forced its entire fleet to port.

Wall Street, however, overlooked the massive loss yesterday, focusing instead on bookings for next year.

The Miami cruise company said that bookings for 2021 are within “historical ranges”.

Shares jumped three per cent at the opening bell, though they remained volatile and fell by an equal amount within an hour.

Videos broadcast from cruise ships were among the first images the world had of the spreading novel coronavirus.

Carnival’s Diamond Princess docked in Yokohama, Japan, in early February and its 3,700 passengers and crew were quickly quarantined, with hundreds aboard infected. Other ships suffered the same fate.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a no-sail order to cruise companies on March 14. The CDC said infectious diseases can easily spread when crew members from a ship with an outbreak transfer to other ships. It notes outbreaks of COVID-19 on cruise ships also pose a risk because passengers can spread the disease into communities across the world after disembarkation.

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