Sailing past pristine islands and turquoise lagoons, the first cruise ship offering Saudi tours serves a twin purpose — jump-starting tourism despite coronavirus fears and showcasing austerity-defying megaprojects planned along the Red Sea.

In August, the cruise liner Silver Spirit began offering tours along the unspoilt Red Sea coastline which the petro-state aspires to turn into a global tourism and investment hotspot as part of a plan to reduce reliance on oil revenue.

Chartered by a company owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, the luxury ship offers a window into multi-billion-dollar “giga projects” that the kingdom is forging ahead with despite a sharp economic downturn.

“We are introducing the Red Sea to the world,” Tourism Minister Ahmed al-Khatib told AFP in an interview aboard the ship.

The Silver Spirit cruise ship sails off Saudi Arabia's coast, which the petro-state aspires to turn into a global tourism and investment hotspot as part of a plan to reduce reliance on oil revenue The Silver Spirit cruise ship sails off Saudi Arabia’s coast, which the petro-state aspires to turn into a global tourism and investment hotspot

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Nearly all cruise lines have now committed to requiring 100% of passengers and crew members to have a COVID-19 test prior to boarding a cruise ship, the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) announced on Tuesday.

The new policy was announced via Twitter by CLIA, which members include about 95% of the world’s oceangoing cruise lines. It said the 100% testing requirement was a “travel industry first” that would encompass all ships that have 250 passengers or more.

“CLIA ocean cruise line members worldwide have agreed to conduct 100% testing of passengers and crew on all ships with a capacity to carry 250 or more persons – with a negative test required for any embarkation,” Bari

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InvestorPlace – Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips

The cruise industry has been hammered ever since the onset of the novel coronavirus. Despite a steady recovery by the stock market, investor sentiment towards cruise stocks remains poor. As a result, the share price of Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH), a household name in the sector, has dropped almost 75% this year, burning many owners of Norwegian Cruise Line stock.

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The slow recovery of the sector has forced the company to sell more debt and burn more cash. Consequently,  it is uninvestable at this point.

Back in July, the CDC issued a no-sail order, halting operations of cruise liners in the USA until September. Therefore, the cruise industry was expected to be back up and running in the fall. However, major cruise liners, including Carnival (NYSE:CCL) , Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL), and Norwegian,

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InvestorPlace – Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips

With shares of Norwegian Cruise Lines (NYSE:NCLH) at just $17 right now, it’s easy to imagine investors thinking of its $53 levels from just last year and concluding there’s 210% upside as we see a once things “go back to the way they were.”

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There’s just one problem: NCLH stock might not bounce back. In fact, it could sink to $0.

That’s because, as cruise lines draw down credit lines, interest payments begin to creep up. Eventually, these debts can leave scarring on a company’s balance sheet that takes decades to undo. And as thousands of leveraged buyouts have shown, high debt loads also make companies far less likely to survive future crises.

NCLH stock investors beware. You’re getting what you pay for.

NCLH Stock: Stuck in a Quagmire

I don’t usually write

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ROME (AP) — Cruise ship passengers had their temperatures checked and took COVID-19 tests Sunday so they could set sail on what is being billed as the first Mediterranean cruise after Italy’s pandemic lockdown.

The cruise ship company MSC has made the procedures, for crew as well as passengers, part of its new health and safety protocols. The MSC Grandiosa, which was christened last year, set sail from the northern Italian port of Genoa on Sunday evening for a seven-night cruise in the western Mediterranean.

Any one testing positive, or with a fever, or having other COVID-19 symptoms was denied boarding, the company said. Guest must wear face masks in elevators and other areas where social distancing is not possible. The crew spent time in quarantine before the start of the cruise.

Earlier this month, the Italian government gave its approval for cruise ships to once again depart from Italy’s

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The first major cruise ship to set sail in the Mediterranean was poised to depart from Genoa on Sunday, as Italy’s struggling travel industry hopes to regain ground after a bruising coronavirus hiatus.

The departure of the MSC Grandiosa from the northwestern port city at 1930 local time (1730 GMT) represents a high-stakes test for the global sector in the key Mediterranean market and beyond.

The international cruise industry has been battered not only by the ongoing health crisis which in March forced the worldwide grounding of its ships, but accusations of a botched handling of the epidemic in its early stages.

Cruise lines are hoping that new, tighter protocols will allow them to control the still-lingering threat of coronavirus aboard its ships while still offering travellers a cruise experience that does not disappoint.

The Grandiosa is part of the fleet of privately-owned MSC Cruises, founded in Naples but now

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