Royal Caribbean Cruises has seen a “tremendous” rise in consumer confidence with strong bookings from the UK for the company’s new ships.


Chairman and chief executive, Richard Fain, told Sky News that interest was high in the line’s new ship Quantum of the Seas – in Southampton for a trade preview sailing this weekend – and sister vessel Anthem of the Seas which will be based at the port next summer.


Speaking from the UK port, he described UK booking levels as as “terrific”.


“We’ve been looking at a significantly improving picture on the revenue side because people are beginning to feel a little more confident about the way they feel about the world, so they are making plans a little further out.


“That’s one of the reasons we are so excited about having Quantum and then Anthem coming here to Southampton,” said Fain.


The company has not seen any serious impact as a result of the Ebola outbreak. “It does look like common sense is prevailing, so we are looking forward to moving ahead,” said Fain.


He said he was looking forward to more stable cruise prices due to falling fuel costs.


“That will really help with our economics. We are proud of offering a good deal to people but we’d like to offer maybe just not quite such a great deal.”


Fain described the strength of the dollar as “clearly” having an impact as half of the group’s revenue comes from outside the US.


“But over time we see an offset between the strengthening dollar and the weakening fuel price, so it’s a little bit of a natural hedge that we enjoy.”