Published on Thursday, October 8, 2020

Carnival adopts resilient tone despite cruising woes

Carnival Corporation has insisted the cruise market remains resilient after claiming bookings for the second half of 2021 are continuing to hold up.

Delivering a business update in the US, President and Chief Executive Arnold Donald said forward sales for the period remained 'at the higher end of the historical range'.

In the three weeks ending 20 September Carnival said 60% of sales were fresh bookings rather than from passengers holding future cruise credits.

The encouraging picture has emerged despite minimal advertising and marketing, Carnival said.

"The company believes this demonstrates the long-term potential demand for cruising," Arnold told an investor call.    

Prices for 2021 are lower by mid-single digits, the company added in the update.

The cruise line said 55% of passengers who had their voyage cancelled because of Covid requested refunds, with 45% issued future cruise credits.

Carnival has begun a gradual resumption of operations, with Costa Cruises restarting limited voyages and German cruise line AIDA expected to resume sailings next week.

But the vast bulk of its ships remain in port with no certainty when cruising will resume in any meaningful way.

Last month Carnival reported a loss of almost US$3b in third quarter, taking losses for the first nine months of the year to a staggering US$8 billion.

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