Saying that the cruise industry is in trouble would be a significant understatement. Cruise companies are currently the subject of mass cancellations and refunds, even as former passengers file lawsuits due to the companies' handling of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Add to that the fact that thousands of cruise ship crew members are still unable to disembark from their ships and go home, and it becomes clear the dire straits the industry is in.
How in the hell does Carnival, a cruise ship company that pays virtually no federal income taxes, receive a bailout, but the Postal Service, the most popular government agency in America, does not?— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 27, 2020
The Post Office is essential. Cruise ships are not. https://t.co/cb9k0E291u
Over the past several weeks these factors caused investors to dump cruise company stocks, leading to a devaluation of upwards of 75%. As investors sold cruise company stocks, cruise line executives called on the U.S. government for help. Those calls have been answered in the form of federal aid.
Senator Bernie Sanders took to Twitter to decry the so-called bailout, saying "How in the hell does Carnival, a cruise ship company that pays virtually no federal income taxes, receive a bailout, but the Postal Service, the most popular government agency in America, does not?"
Senator Sanders was referring to the fact that most cruise ships are registered in foreign countries, allowing them to avoid paying U.S. taxes and obeying U.S. labor laws.
Despite the industry's current challenges, its future may yet be bright. Many reports indicate that bookings for 2021 remain strong.