Royal Caribbean updates vaccination protocol for U.S. and European cruises

Royal Caribbean Group sees smooth sailing ahead for 2022

MIAMI — Royal Caribbean Group’s load factors for sailings in the first half of 2022 are expected to remain below historical levels, however the second half of the year is looking much more promising with loan factors looking back in line with expectations, and with prices on the rise.

Royal Caribbean Group – which includes Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises – recently posted its financial results for the 2021 fiscal year.

By the end of 2021, Royal Caribbean Group had returned 50 out of 61 ships to operations across its five brands, representing over 85% of its worldwide capacity.

During the year, the group carried approximately 1.3 million guests across the five brands, achieving record guest satisfaction scores and onboard spend per passenger, according to the company.

The omicron variant resulted in some service disruptions and several cancelled sailings in Q1 2022, however the group’s cruise lines still expect to operate approximately 95% of their planned capacity in Q1.

Cumulative advance bookings for the second half of 2022 are within historical ranges and at higher prices, with and without future cruise credits (FCCs).

Royal Caribbean Group expects to return the full fleet before the summer season of 2022 and have load factors approaching historical levels in the third quarter of 2022.

The company adds that notwithstanding the impact from omicron, it expects to be operating cash flow positive in late spring. The group also expects a net loss for the first half of 2022 and a return to profitability in the second half of 2022.

“2021 marked the beginning of our return to our mission of delivering the very best vacation experiences,” said Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean Group’s President and CEO. “During 2021, we made significant progress toward our recovery with over 85% of our capacity returning to operations and delivering safe and memorable experiences to approximately 1.3 million guests at record guest satisfaction scores. Our team has worked tirelessly to execute our successful and healthy return, and we are grateful for their extraordinary efforts.”

Liberty adds: “We expect 2022 will be a strong transitional year, as we bring the rest of our fleet back into operations and well-nigh historical occupancy levels. Omicron created short-term operational challenges that have unfortunately weighed on close-in bookings. While the timing of omicron was particularly unfortunate for the first half of 2022 bookings and will likely delay our return to profitability by a few months, we do not expect it to impact our overall recovery trajectory and the strong demand for cruising.”

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