Royal Caribbean Cruises has joined larger rival Carnival Corporation in warning of the potential “material” financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The world’s second largest cruise company has now cancelled a total of 18 sailings in south-east Asia and also modified several itineraries as a result of travel restrictions in place and “related circumstances.”

The number of cancelled cruises has risen from the eight out of China reported by the company last week.

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RCC also reported “softer bookings” across the broader business, not just Asia.

It is in regular communications with global health authorities after China and other countries moved “aggressively” to contain the spread of the virus.

Like other cruise firms, the owner of brands such as Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea and Azamara, has implemented measures to protect passengers and crew.

These include denying boarding to those that have travelled from, to or through mainland China or Hong Kong in the past 15 days and performing mandatory specialised health screenings on at-risk passengers and crew.

The company “is assessing the developments constantly and will update these measures as needed”.

RCC added: “Taken together, these measures have an estimated impact on the company’s financial performance for 2020 of approximately $0.65 per share.

“While not currently planned, if the company was to cancel all of its remaining sailings in Asia through the end of April, it would impact 2020 financial performance by an additional $0.55 per share.

“There are still too many variables and uncertainties to make a reasonable forecast for 2020.

“While the early impact due to concerns about the coronavirus is mainly related to Asia, recent bookings for our broader business have also been softer.

“If the travel restrictions and concerns over the outbreak continue for an extended period of time, they could materially impact the company’s overall financial performance.”

Chairman and chief executive Richard Fain said: “It is important that every organisation acts responsibly, and we have already taken aggressive steps to minimise risk through boarding restrictions and itinerary changes.

“Our shipboard and shoreside teams have been working tirelessly through these circumstances and I want to thank them for all of their extraordinary efforts. We appreciate our responsibility to our guests and to each other, and our focus on public health is unwavering.”

Carnival Corportation, owner of quarantined ship Diamond Princess in Japan after an outbreak of coronavirus on board, was the first to warn of a “material impact” on its financial results.