The Carnival Corporation owns and operates nine different cruise lines and over 90 cruise ships, making it the largest cruise company in the world. Before the pandemic, there were around a hundred cruise ships actively operating.
The company announced plans to retire three more ships from its fleet.
Two of the ships will be from their Costa Cruises brand. The ships being removed are smaller, less efficient vessels. The idea is part of Carnival’s goal to right-size the Costa brand in light of the continuous shutdown of cruise operations in China, where the line has a significant presence.
Revenue per passenger cruise day is up, cancellation rates are down, and the booking curve across all brands has extended, all of which Carnival Corporation claims proves it is “continuing to close the gap” towards profitability.
As of 30 November, total client deposits had surpassed the previous record of USD$4.9 billion, reaching a new high of USD$5.1 billion. Capacity in passenger cruise operations is close to pre-pandemic levels, although occupancy remained 19 percentage points below 2019 levels in the quarter.
This improved over the previous quarter, which was 29 percentage points below 2019 levels on eight percentage points less capacity than pre-pandemic levels. Chief Executive Officer Josh Weinstein remarked, “Throughout 2022, we have successfully restored our fleet to service, aggressively expanding occupancy on growing capacity and pushing revenue per passenger cruise day higher than 2019 record levels, both in the fourth quarter and the full year overall.”
“We have also actively managed down our costs while investing in building future demand,” Weinstein said. Highlights for the quarter included booking volumes strengthening following the relaxation in protocols, cancellation trends improving globally, and a measurable lengthening in the booking curve across all its brands.
“The momentum has continued into Dec, which bodes well for 2023 overall as more markets open for cruise travel, protocols continue to relax, our closer-to-home itineraries play out, our stepped-up advertising efforts pay dividends, and our brands continue to hone all aspects of their revenue-generating activities,” he said.
Carnival’s fleet optimisation strategy, when finished in April 2024, will have lowered Costa’s capacity to roughly match the cruise line’s 2019 capacity committed outside of Asia to its primary markets in Europe. Carnival anticipates a 3% increase in overall capacity for next year over 2019.