MIAMI, December 30, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Today the Royal Caribbean Group announced an update on the status of its business and the impact of the Omicron variant.
The knowledge about COVID-19 and how to deal with it have been in constant flux for two years. Omicron has changed the COVID-19 landscape significantly for everyone, and the Royal Caribbean Group is no exception.
As widely reported, the Omicron variant is significantly more contagious than its predecessor and has already become the dominant form of COVID-19 in the US and elsewhere. Fortunately, Omicron also appears to cause significantly less severe symptoms than previous variants, especially in people who are vaccinated. Cruises are still one of the few places to vacation when you know that almost everyone you meet is fully vaccinated.
Recent experience on Royal Caribbean Group ships is consistent with these observations. The numbers indicate an increase in the number of people who tested positive without a corresponding increase in the number of sick people. Since the US cruise resumed in June 2021, the Royal Caribbean Group has carried 1.1 million guests with 1,745 people who tested positive – a positivity rate of 0.02%. In addition, the vast majority of these cases had no or mild symptoms, with only 41 people required to be hospitalized. None of the Omicron cases were serious or required to be hospitalized. These numbers are due to the fact that almost everyone on board was vaccinated and had a negative test before boarding.
“Omicron is having a huge short-term impact on everyone, but many observers see this as an important step in making COVID-19 endemic rather than epidemic,” said Richard Fain, Chairman. “We don’t like to see a single case, but our experience is a fraction of the comparable statistics of virtually any other comparable location or industry. Few companies are subject to such intensive controls, regulations and disclosure requirements by so many authorities. and we welcome this exam because of our commitment to safety. We intend to maintain our goal of providing the safest vacation on land or at sea and will continually adapt our procedures to achieve this, even given the amazing portability of Omicron. “
The Chief Medical Officer of the Royal Caribbean Group, Dr. Calvin Johnson emphasizes: “The company navigates through the constantly evolving information on the Omicron variant. Our case numbers have skyrocketed, but the severity is much milder. We will stay nimble and in constant contact with the health authorities. Omicron, we gave booster vaccinations to all of our crew members as soon as they were eligible. ”
After a very strong cyber weekend, the company saw a decrease in bookings and more cancellations for short-term departures, but to a lesser extent than with the Delta variant. As expected, the load factors for trips in the first half of 2022 will remain below the historical level. However, cruises for the second half of 2022 will continue to be booked within historical bandwidths at higher prices with and without Future Cruise Credits (FCCs), with strong demand from the critical US market.
The travel industry is experiencing significant disruptions from air travel and other service providers due to the proliferation of Omicron. Such disruptions are particularly effective during the holiday season as the demand increases and the current increase in cases affects the labor supply. Similar issues affect the company’s on-board service capabilities. In addition, the company has service disruptions at select destinations and has canceled or significantly changed 16 of 331 destination calls to date. The company believes these disruptions will continue in the near future and then decrease as the world adapts to current trends.
Fain concluded, “We are constantly learning and adapting as Omicron appears to be ushering in a new phase in the fight against COVID-19. We expect these factors will have a negative impact in the short term, but we are optimistic that they will lead us to a broader but less severe health environment. Taken together, this should enable us to create a strong year of transition in 2022 and a very strong year in 2023. “
About the Royal Caribbean Group
The Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) is one of the world’s leading cruise lines with a global fleet of 60 ships serving more than 800 destinations around the world. The Royal Caribbean Group owns and operates three award-winning cruise brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises and 50% owner of a joint venture that operates TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Together, the brands now have 13 more ships to order September 30, 2021. Learn more at www.royalcaribbeangroup.com or www.rclinvestor.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release, including but not limited to our future estimates of performance, projections, and projections, constitute forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, among other things, statements about earnings, costs and financial results for 2021 and above out. Words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “could”, “drive”, “estimate”, “expect”, “aim”, “intend”, “can”, “plan”, “project”, “strive for,” “Should”, “will”, “would”, “consider” and similar expressions are used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current expectations, are based on estimates, and are inherently uncertain and subject to change Risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from, or are implied in, future results, performance or achievements in these forward-looking statements. Examples of such risks, uncertainties and other factors include the Effects of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases on economic conditions, industries and societies in general, the travel industry as well as the fi our company’s financial position and results of operations; required or voluntary travel restrictions, including current and potential cruise suspensions; Cancellation by guests; the pace and effectiveness of our return to service; our ability to meet the conditional sail assembly framework of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the impact of government regulations and litigation regarding evidence of passenger vaccinations; our ability to raise sufficient funding, capital, or income to meet liquidity needs, capital expenditures, debt repayments and other funding needs; the effectiveness of the measures we have taken to improve and meet our liquidity needs; the impact of the economic and geopolitical environment on key aspects of our business, such as cruise demand, passenger spend and operating costs; Interruptions in the supply chain; Incidents or negative publications relating to our ships, port facilities, land destinations and / or passengers, or the cruise industry in general; Concerns about the safety, health and safety of guests and crew; the cost and effectiveness of our safety protocols in relation to COVID-19; Impairment of our goodwill, long-lived assets, equity investments and promissory notes; Difficulties in obtaining crew, provisions and supplies; the occurrence of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases on our ships and concerns about the risk of illness while traveling to, on or from our ships; Unavailability of ports of call; growing anti-tourism sentiments and environmental concerns; Changes in US outbound travel policy; Uncertainties about doing business internationally and expanding into new markets and ventures; our ability to recruit, develop and retain highly qualified personnel; Changes in operating and financing costs; the impact of our current and future debt; the effects of exchange rate, inflation, and interest rate and fuel price fluctuations; Labor shortage; the effect of converting our convertible bonds, if any, into shares of our common stock or a combination of cash and shares of our common stock; our expectation that we will not declare or pay any dividends on our common stock for the foreseeable future; Competition in the vacation industry and changes in capacities and overcapacities in the industry; the risks and costs associated with cyber security attacks, data breaches, protecting our systems and maintaining data security and integrity as well as the personal data of our guests, employees and others; the effects of new or changing laws and regulations or government orders on our business; pending or threatened litigation, investigations and enforcement actions; the impact of weather, natural disasters and seasonality on our business; Emergency repairs to ships, including the associated loss of revenue; the impact of problems in shipyards, including delays in ship delivery, ship cancellations, or increases in the cost of building ships; Unavailability of the shipyard; the unavailability or cost of the flight service; and uncertainties of a foreign legal system, since we are not involved in The United States.
In addition, many of these risks and uncertainties are heightened and will be further increased by the COVID-19 pandemic or could be increased in the future. It is not possible to predict or identify all of these risks.
For more information on factors that could affect our results of operations, see the “Risk Factors” heading and elsewhere in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, as well as in our other filings with the SEC, copies of which are available on our investor relations website at www.rclinvestor.com or on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements based on information available to us as of the date of this release. We assume no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.
SOURCE Royal Caribbean Group