The cruise ships “Carnival Sunrise” (L) and “Carnival Vista” (R), which are part of the Carnival Cruise Line, will be moored on a quay in the port of Miami, Florida on December 23, 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL SLIM / AFP via Getty Images)
DANIEL SLIM | AFP | Getty Images
Carnival said Thursday that bookings were up 45% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter as the cruise industry continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company also said its 2022 cumulative advance bookings are ahead of 2019.
However, Carnival reported an adjusted net loss of $ 2 billion for the second quarter of 2021. An adjusted net loss is also expected for the third quarter and full year.
The company’s monthly cash burn rate for the first half of 2021 was $ 500 million.
The company was able to raise $ 26.3 billion and reduce future lending rates by refinancing by $ 120 million per year, said Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation, in an interview on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Thursday.
“We have cash well into next year and, more importantly, the ability to get our entire fleet up and running, and then we’ll start generating cash,” said Donald. “Cash maximization will be key to paying debt back over time and getting back the creditworthiness that puts us in a strong position to survive.”
Due to multiple outbreaks on board cruise lines over the past year, the cruise industry was one of the last sectors to resume operations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allowed cruises to return this year with strict safety protocols and requirements to prevent outbreaks from occurring on board.
“There are ways to go about this and we just want to be treated similarly to other travel and tourism sectors,” said Donald.
Carnival has resumed sailing or announced that it will resume sailing 42 ships from eight of the company’s nine cruise brands by the end of November this year.
“We are working aggressively on our way to get our entire fleet back into operation by next spring. So far we have announced that 42 ships, which represent more than half of our capacity, will be serving guests again by the end of the financial year.” said Donald in a press release.
The company will require 95% of the crew and guests to be fully vaccinated, with protocols for unvaccinated guests including testing and wearing of masks. The company believes this would prevent the virus from spreading on board cruises, Donald told CNBC.
“The likelihood of an outbreak is very, very small, almost non-existent,” said Donald. “You can have some isolated cases and we probably will have some.”
However, despite routine testing in each port, Royal Caribbean Cruises had two guests tested positive on board one of the first ships to set sail, the Celebrity Millennium.
Cruise ship stocks are slowly rebounding this year after suffering huge losses during the pandemic.
Carnival stocks were down 2.45% on Thursday. The stock is up 27% since the start of the year.