Royal Caribbean Cruises reports ‘stellar year’

Royal Caribbean Cruises has reported record results for 2018, with the company bringing in $1.8 billion despite the increase in fuel prices and currency fluctuations.

Reporting the fourth quarter results in 2018, chief financial officer Jason Liberty revealed currency fluctuations and additional fuel costs negatively affected earnings by $123 million.

However, yields were up by 4.5 % last year.

Brexit created “some inconsistencies” in UK demand, however global performance in North America and other key markets was “compensating”, Liberty said.

“Strong demand from our key markets for our key products, better on board experiential spend and the acquisition of Silversea drove the year over year performance,” he added.

Bookings were higher in the final three months of last year than over the same period in 2017.

Liberty added that two of the last three weeks had been record booking weeks.

“These strong booking trends have strengthened our overall booking position,” he added. “2019 is at a record high in both rate and volume.”

The cruise line group’s chairman and chief executive Richard Fain said: “By any measure 2018 was a particularly stellar year, and the strong Wave [period] makes us optimistic about 2019 as well.”

“We are getting ready for the delivery of [Celebrity Cruises’] Celebrity Flora and [Royal Caribbean’s] Spectrum of the Seas and Royal Caribbean International’s Perfect Day project which comes in May.

“The island element will really shake up the short-term cruise market. The guests will love it.”

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