Royal Caribbean Group reports best wave season in its history

Royal Caribbean Group reports best wave season in its history

Cruise operator hails record period for both demand and pricing

Royal Caribbean Group has reported its best wave season in its history and is in a “record” booked position.

The company, which operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises, said it experienced a record wave period from both a demand and pricing standpoint, as well as greater onboard consumer spend than in any years prior, which it attributed to “greater participation at higher prices”.

Jason Liberty, group chief executive, hailed the three months to 31 March 2024 as a “great start to the year”, saying he believes the company will achieve a series of financial goals – called the Trifecta programme – by the end of the year, having initially aimed to accomplish them by the end of 2025.

“Demand for our leading brands and the incredible experiences they deliver continues to be very robust, resulting in outperformance in the first quarter, a further increase of full-year earnings to guidance and 60% expected earnings growth year over year,” said Liberty.

“Building on this momentum, we expect to achieve all our Trifecta financial goals in 2024 which allows us to focus on a new era of growth to drive long-term shareholder returns and take a greater share of the rapidly growing $1.9 trillion global vacation market.”

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The group will welcome two new ships this summer, Utopia of the Seas and Silver Ray, and has also begun work on private beach clubs The Royal Beach Club Paradise Island, scheduled to open in 2025, and The Royal Beach Club Cozumel, set to open in 2026.

Net income for the first quarter of 2024 was $360 million compared to a net loss of US$48 million in the same period last year, the group said, while load factors were 107% and the group’s customer deposit balance was $6 billion.

“Our existing fleet along with our new ships continue to perform exceptionally well, highlighted by the market response to the launch of Icon of the Seas, which has exceeded all expectations,” said Liberty.

“The momentum continues with Utopia of the Seas and Silver Ray, set to launch this summer. And, just this quarter along, we announced an order for a seventh Oasis-class ship and the expansion of our Royal Beach Club portfolio in Cozumel, and we officially broke ground on Royal Beach Club Paradise Island.

“These strategies will further propel our leadership in the cruise industry and push us to new heights in the vacation industry.”

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