Royal Caribbean Group’s top executives hosted their quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts on Tuesday. While the company reported a loss for quarter four, they forecasted a very strong 2023.
One of the first things to note is that Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO, emphasized that 2022 saw the cruise industry return to normal and that as 2023 began most ships were sailing at full capacity.
“2022 was a challenging but successful transitional year. During the fourth quarter, demand for our brands accelerated. We delivered a record 1.8 million vacations, achieved a 95% load factor, and successfully returned to Australia for the first time in three years.”
Liberty also pointed out that Royal Caribbean Group is seeing an increase of new cruisers and that website traffic is up nearly twice that of 2019. This increase in website traffic has resulted in a significant increase in the number of bookings. He pointed out that since the last quarterly call, Royal Caribbean Group has experienced it seven largest booking week in its history.
During the call, there was conversation around the popularity of Perfect Day at CocoCay and the addition of an adult neighborhood, Hideaway Beach, on the private island. Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean President and CEO, talked about the demand of CocoCay. The company estimates 2.5 to 3 million travelers will visit the private island in 2023. The island’s popularity has also brought about an increase in revenue since cruisers are spending extra on things like Thrill Waterpark, the Coco Beach Club and private cabanas.
Bayley also discussed the overwhelming success of Icon of the Seas which isn’t even set to sail until January 2024.
“We opened up Icon of the Seas for sale a few months ago, and that ship has literally been the best selling product in the history of our business and has been absolutely outstanding in terms of the demand and the pricing that we’re generating for that product.”
“Just one little nugget that gets me very excited is, and it’s only one category of room, but the Ultimate Family Townhouse that we sell on Icon, which is a three-story experience for younger families, is already 55 percent sold for 2024 and at an average price of $75,000 per week.”
Icon of the Seas is the first Icon Class ship for Royal Caribbean. It features a waterpark, new public spaces, an indoor AquaTheater entertainment space, and new stateroom categories.
Royal Caribbean Group expects 2023 very strong and 2024 to follow suit.