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Top Cruise Line Stocks for Q3 2021

Top Cruise Line Stocks for Q3 2021

The cruise line industry is part of the broader travel and tourism industry, focused primarily on providing sea-based vacation experiences. Companies in the industry own and operate cruise ships in various destinations worldwide, offering a variety of itineraries and themed cruises. They also may provide other travel and vacation services. Some of the big cruise line companies include Carnival Corp. (CCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH). The cruise line industry has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions and other social-distancing measures. However, as vaccines are rolled out, investors are becoming increasingly optimistic about the industry again.

One cruise line stock that trades in the U.S. is currently outperforming the broader market on an annual basis. However, most are underperforming, having provided total returns below the Russell 1000’s total return of 34.8% over the past 12 months. This market performance number and all statistics in the value and momentum tables below are as of June 8, 2021. The statistics in the least sales decline table are as of June 9, 2021.

Below, we look at the top 3 cruise line stocks with the best value, least sales decline, and most momentum.

There are just 4 pure-play cruise line companies easily available to U.S. investors, but we look at them in our usual style. Because the entire industry has suffered losses in the most recent quarter, the value section below will be based on price-to-sales ratio rather than the usual price-to-earnings ratio (P/E Ratio).

These are the cruise line stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-sales (P/S) ratio. For companies in early stages of development or industries suffering from major shocks, this can be substituted as a rough measure of a business’s value. A business with higher sales could eventually produce more profit when it achieves, or returns to, profitability. The price-to-sales ratio shows how much you’re paying for the stock for each dollar of sales generated.

Best Value Cruise Line Stocks
Price ($)Market Cap ($B)12-Month Trailing P/S Ratio
Carnival Corp. (CCL)31.0837.032.9
Royal Caribbean Group (
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH)33.7112.5264.6

Source: YCharts

  • Carnival Corp.: Carnival operates the world’s largest fleet of cruise ships. The company also owns travel-related properties such as hotels and vacation destinations throughout the world. On June 7, the company announced that it will recommence U.S. guest operations, starting with the cruise ship Carnival Vista from Port of Galveston on July 3. That will be followed by the return to operations of Carnival Breeze on July 15. Cruise guests will be required to show proof of vaccination for COVID-19.
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  • Royal Caribbean Group: Royal Caribbean Group, formerly known as Royal Caribbean Cruises, operates a fleet of vessels in the cruise vacation industry. On June 4, the company announced that it plans to return to U.S. operations on July 2 after ceasing cruise sailings due to the pandemic. Guests are strongly recommended to be fully vaccinated, and those who are unvaccinated will be required to undergo testing and follow other health and safety protocols.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.: Norwegian Cruise Line operates a fleet of passenger cruise ships. The company offers itineraries and theme cruises. The company announced in late May plans to resume U.S. cruise ship sailings on August 7, 2021. Norwegian Cruise Line’s restart plan depends on obtaining a Conditional Sailing Certificate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Cruise Line Stocks with the Least Sales Decline

These are the cruise line stocks with the least year-over-year (YOY) sales decline for the most recent quarter. A company’s ability to maintain sales in a difficult business environment can be a sign of good management and/or a strong business model.

Cruise Line Stocks with the Least Sales Decline
Price ($)Market Cap ($B)Sales Growth (%)
Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. (
Royal Caribbean Group (RCL)94.9524.2-97.9
Carnival Corp. (CCL)31.0837.0-99.5

Source: YCharts

  • Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc.:  Lindblad Expeditions owns and operates cruise ships, and provides expedition cruising and travel services. The company offers both sea-based and land-based expeditions. Lindblad announced in late April financial results for Q1 of its 2021 fiscal year (FY), the three-month period ended March 31, 2021. The company’s net loss widened to $33.9 million from $2.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter fell 97.8%. Lindblad indicated that it plans to resume its fleet operations in June 2021.
  • Royal Caribbean Group: See above for company description.
  • Carnival Corp.: See above for company description.

These are the cruise line stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Cruise Line Stocks with the Most Momentum
Price ($)Market Cap ($B)12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. (LIND)18.270.960.8
Royal Caribbean Group (RCL)94.9524.226.4
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH)33.7112.525.5
Russell 1000N/AN/A34.8

Source: YCharts

  • Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc.: See above for company description.
  • Royal Caribbean Group: See above for company description.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.: See above for company description.

The comments, opinions and analyses expressed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be considered individual investment advice or recommendations to invest in any security or to adopt any investment strategy. While we believe the information provided herein is reliable, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. The views and strategies described on our content may not be suitable for all investors. Because market and economic conditions are subject to rapid change, all comments, opinions, and analyses contained within our content are rendered as of the date of the posting and may change without notice. The material is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region, market, industry, investment, or strategy.

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About the author


Shawn Utley

Shawn previously worked as a journalist for several local newspapers until he realized the potential of internet for news reporting. He joined the team as a contributor which provided him a platform to dedicate his experience and knowledge for a wider range of audience. He excels in curating business news for the website.

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