Carnival and other cruise stocks get upgrade from Wolfe Research on bookings jump

The Carnival Liberty cruise ship is seen after docking to allow crew members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Port Canaveral, the first U.S. port to sponsor COVID-19 vaccine distribution to port workers and vessel crew members.
Paul Hennessy | LightRocket | Getty Images

Early signs of customer demand for the return of vacations at sea should make investors more bullish on cruise stocks, according to Wolfe Research.

The cruise industry was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, with voyages being stopped around the world, but with widespread vaccinations in the U.S., the major companies have plans to resume American operations over the summer.

Analyst Greg Badishkanian upgraded Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings to outperform from peer perform, saying in a note to clients on Wednesday that early indications pointed to a strong restart for the industry.