UPDATE 1-Cruise operator Carnival to sell $500 million in shares

(Adds background on industry, shares)

June 28 (Reuters) - Carnival Corp said on Monday it would sell shares worth $500 million, as the cruise operator restarts its operations after a long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Money raised will be used to purchase ordinary shares of Carnival Plc, trading in the United Kingdom, and for general corporate purposes, the company said.

The cruise operator has raised over $2.5 billion by selling its shares over the past year as travel restrictions due to the pandemic brought its business to a standstill.

With cruises ordered to operate with fewer passengers onboard while following strict hygiene and sanitization protocols, Carnival and others are expected to burn more cash to stay in business.

Cruise operators began sailing from U.S. ports last week with mostly vaccinated passengers and crew.

Shares of Carnival and peers Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Holdings Ltd were down about 2% each.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri