Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said future bookings are “strong” as it reported a loss of $1.4 billion for the first quarter of 2021.
Q1 revenue fell to $3.1 million, compared to $1.2 billion in 2020, because of the complete suspension of voyages in three months to March 31.
The cruise giant has also submitted a proposal to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) outlining its plan to restart cruising from US ports on July 4.
The Q1 report warned however: “As valuable time goes by, given the lead time needed to stand up a ship and the need for an acceptable and definitive agreement with the CDC, a potential midsummer restart from US ports could be in jeopardy.”
Last month, it announced it will resume cruises this summer, starting with Norwegian Cruise Line in Greece, beginning July 25, and the Caribbean from August 7.
Oceania Cruises will restart cruise operations with Marina in August from Copenhagen, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises will return to sailing with Seven Seas Splendor cruising from the UK, beginning September 11.
The report added: “As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, while the company cannot estimate the impact on its business, financial condition or near- or longer-term financial or operational results with certainty, it will report a net loss for the second quarter ending June 30, 2021 and expects to report a net loss until the company is able to resume regular voyages.”
Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive of NCL Holdings, said: “Over a year after the initial global suspension of cruise voyages, we are pleased to have announced our Great Cruise Comeback programme beginning with voyages originating from international ports.
“Our teams have worked tirelessly and enlisted the guidance of top public health officials and scientific experts to develop our robust, science-backed SailSAFE health and safety programme, which combines mandatory vaccination of all guests and crew with rigorous preventative measures including universal Covid-19 testing.
“With our SailSAFE program we believe we can provide a uniquely safe and healthy experience which exceeds all other vacation options available on land or at sea.”
The Q1 announcement said bookings have been “strong” with an “elongated booking window as guests book further into the future, despite reduced sales and marketing investments and a travel agency industry that has not been at full strength for months”.
During Q1, overall bookings, net of cancellations, were more than double the volumes during the prior quarter.
It said 2022 booking and pricing trends are “very positive driven by strong pent-up demand”.
The overall cumulative booked position for the first half of 2022 is “meaningfully ahead” of 2019’s record levels with pricing higher when excluding the dilutive impact of future cruise credits (FCCs).
For the second quarter of 2021, the company expects the average cash burn rate to be approximately $190 million per month, as it prepares for a return to service this summer.
Mark Kempa, executive vice-president and chief financial officer, said: “We completed several strategic capital markets transactions in the quarter, raising over $1 billion of incremental liquidity and further extending our debt maturity profile.
“As we prepare for our imminent resumption of cruising this summer, we will continue to balance our cash needs to maximise financial flexibility and position us well for an extended recovery period.”