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Carnival's shares surge as Costa Cruises prepares to set sail this weekend

Sept 3 (Reuters) - Carnival Corp’s shares surged 11% on Thursday after its Italian brand Costa Cruises said two of its ships would resume sailing this weekend, with more to follow.

Cruise companies, among the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, were forced to halt voyages for months after ships in Japan, Australia and California made headlines because of large numbers of infections onboard.

So far this year, Carnival’s shares have lost nearly two-thirds of their value, while peer Royal Caribbean Cruises Group has lost about 45% and Norwegian Cruise Line Holding Ltd about 67%.

Shares of Royal Caribbean were up 6% and Norwegian Cruise rose 8% in morning trading.

Carnival’s German brand AIDA Cruises will resume operations in November with two of its ships sailing from the Canary Islands, it said late last month.

Costa will sail from Italian ports beginning weekly cruises from Genoa and Trieste to western Mediterranean and southern Italy, reserving one-week itineraries exclusively for Italian guests, it said.

The cruises will take place with adjusted passenger capacity and health protocols developed with government and health authorities, Carnival said.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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