Cruise Lines 2019 Q4 Breakdown: By the Numbers

Seabourn, Royal Caribbean and AIDA Ships in Antigua

Cruise Industry News takes a look at the financial performance of the “big three” following the final quarter of 2019.


While gross revenue was up for Q4 2019 for the three publicly-traded cruise companies, increased operating expenses led to reduced operating income, net income and net income per passenger day, compared to Q4 for the previous year.

Net revenue per passenger day was also down year-over-year for Carnival Corporation, up noticeably for Royal Caribbean and up slightly for Norwegian.

Gross revenue per passenger day was significantly up for all three companies, including onboard spending, with gross ticket revenue per day also up for Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, but down for Carnival.

Carnival saw the biggest difference between gross and net onboard revenue: more than $25, making it flat with last year, while Royal had nearly a $12 drop and Norwegian a little more than $10, and up from last year.

Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean saw a decrease in fuel costs year-over-year while Norwegian saw its fuel spend to go up.

Carnival cited the regulatory change preventing travel to Cuba, geopolitical events in Arabian Gulf, Hurricane Dorian, an unscheduled drydock, and multiple shipyard delays. Royal cited the Oasis drydock mishap, Cuba and Hurricane Dorian, and Norwegian also cited Cuba and Dorian.

Because of the fleet mix, Norwegian continued to generate the highest gross and net ticket and onboard spend revenue.

2019 financeCruise Industry Financial Tracking

The Cruise Industry Financial Tracking Report provides an in-depth look into the financial metrics of the leading cruise companies. Learn more.

Included: Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, MSC, Star/Genting, Royal Olympic, P&O Princess, Regent, American Classical Voyages and Commodore.

Key metrics include revenue, operating expenses, operating income and net income, as well as those metrics on a per passenger day basis. We also look at EPS, fleets, berths and passenger cruise days.

Coronavirus: Cruise lines cancel and change itineraries amid mounting travel restrictions

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Celebrity Millennium

Cruise lines have responded to a wave of travel and entry restrictions from countries across southeast Asia by cancelling and changing itineraries amid the coronavirus outbreak. Harry Kemble rounds up all the latest developments.

Celebrity Cruises has cancelled the final five sailings of Celebrity Millennium’s Asia season and will reposition the ship to the US earlier than planned.

Passengers affected will receive a full refund.

The line has also adjusted the next four Celebrity Constellation itineraries to avoid Singapore and Thailand.

Constellation will instead spend more time in Cochin, Goa and Mumbai.

Princess Cruises has pulled every departure on Diamond Princess, which is currently quarantined in Yokohama, Japan, until March 12.

The sailings were due to call at ports across Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam which all have travel and entry restrictions in place.

Each passenger for the February 13 voyage will receive a refund and 100% future cruise credit equal to the cruise fare paid for the voyage. Passengers booked on the February 23 voyage and beyond will receive a refund and 50% cruise credit.

Holland America Line (HAL) ship Westerdam was allowed to dock in Cambodia on Thursday after Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand had all refused to accept the ship – despite having no sick passengers or crew on board.

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Westerdam finally arrives in Cambodia after 5 ports refused entry.

Guests will transfer via charter flights to Phnom Penh for forwarding travel home. All flights will be paid for by the line along with a full cruise refund and 100% future cruise credit.

Future Westerdam voyage plans are still being finalised. The February 15 cruise scheduled to embark in Yokohama has been cancelled.

No cancellations for cruises with departure dates beyond February 15 have been announced.

“However, we are assessing the impact of current port restrictions in Asia on cruises departing Feb. 29 or later,” the line said in a statement. “We will communicate details as they become finalized in the next few days.”

Royal Caribbean International has cancelled two Quantum of the Seas sailings departing from Singapore on February 15 and February 24.

Affected passengers have been given full refunds, the line said.

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Quantum of the Seas.

A Royal spokesperson added: “Royal Caribbean’s number one priority is ensuring the health and welfare of our guests and crew.

“We will continue to monitor conditions and will share other itinerary adjustments should they become necessary.

“The Singapore market remains of great importance to us and we look forward to returning there very soon.”

Royal Caribbean Cruises has lifted its ban on passport holders from China, Hong Kong and Macau after adopting the controversial policy last week.

A statement from Royal Caribbean Cruises, parent of Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea confirmed the reversal on Tuesday.

Every passenger who has travelled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau 15 days prior to the departure date is still banned from boarding any of Royal’s vessels.

Norwegian Cruise Line has pulled its entire Asia programme for the newly refurbished ship, Norwegian Spirit.

All sailings between 15 and December 7 have been dropped and full refunds are being offered, along with 10% future cruise credit.

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P&O Cruises is removing calls into Shanghai on March 5-6 and Hong Kong on March 9-10 as part of Arcadia’s world cruise and will announce alternative ports “as soon as possible”.

The UK line said: “We are very closely monitoring and assessing the impact of the latest developments and health advisories, as well as various travel and entry restrictions which are increasingly impacting ship itineraries and connecting travel.

“We are actively seeking to mitigate these risks to our guests and crew, and are making appropriate adjustments to our operations to protect all onboard our ships.”

Cunard ship Queen Mary 2 is to miss several ports in southeast Asia and will sail direct to Fremantle, Australia, during its world cruise.

The vessel had been scheduled to call into Phuket, Thailand; Pulau Penang Island and Klang in Malaysia; Singapore; and Hong Kong.

Cunard said the “various travel and entry restrictions…are increasingly impacting ship itineraries and connecting travel” across the world.

Coronavirus: Cruise lines clamp down on China carryings

Bund area of Shanghai photo credit Dave Jones

Cruise lines will deny boarding to passengers and crew who have recently been in China as cases of deadly coronavirus grew.

More than 17,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed and 361 deaths in mainland China alone.

There are more than 150 confirmed cases outside China, including two in the UK, with the first death reported in the Philippines.

More: Coronavirus outbreak updates [Jan 27]

Royal Caribbean and MSC cancel sailings over coronavirus fears

British Airways cancels flights as travel firms respond to China travel warning

Cruise trade body Clia announced the clampdown on Friday, denying boarding to those passengers or crew who have travelled from or through mainland China in the previous 14 days.

A number of cruise ships have already cancelled China sailings and altered Asia itineraries, including departures from Shanghai.

The association said: “Clia and its member lines maintain close contact with health professionals and regulators around the world, including the World Health Organisation, and are continually assessing and modifying policies and procedures as developments emerge.

“This includes the modification of itineraries, where needed, in light of evolving circumstances, as well as health, travel and contact screening where appropriate, for guests and crew who have recently travelled from or through the affected area consistent with prevailing guidance from global health authorities.

“Screening protocols allow for informed decisions on a case-by-case basis whether a guest or crewmember will be denied boarding.

“Clia members have suspended crew movements from mainland China and will deny boarding to any individual, whether guest or crew, who has travelled from or through mainland China within the previous 14 days.

“Importantly, the cruise industry is one of the most well-equipped and experienced when it comes to managing and monitoring health conditions of passengers and crew.

“Cruise lines take precautions to conduct passive as well as the active screening of passengers and crew for illness prior to boarding when circumstances demand.

“Furthermore, Clia members implement outbreak prevention and response measures and their ships must be fitted with medical facilities, shipboard and shore side medical professionals available around the clock, 24/7, to provide initial medical care in the event of illness and prevent disease transmission.”