Royal Caribbean’s Expedition Program is High Yielding and Growing

Royal Caribbean Cruises will see its expedition programs grow significantly in 2019, driven by the acquisition of Silversea Cruises and by the introduction of the new 100-guest Celebrity Flora for year-round service in the Galapagos.

“With the addition of Silversea and Celebrity Flora, it’s worth noting that the high-yielding expedition products will account for approximately 2.5 percent of our inventory in 2019 versus only 0.5 percent in 2018,” said Jason Liberty, CFO, Royal Caribbean Cruises, speaking on the company’s third quarter earnings call.

With an estimated 700 combined expedition berths in 2020, it would make Royal Caribbean Cruises the fourth largest expedition operator by market capacity, trailing Ponant, Hurtigurten and Lindblad, according to the 2018 Expedition Market Report by Cruise Industry News.

Among the fleet moves, the new Celebrity Flora will join the Celebrity Xpedition in the Galapagos starting next May.

Silversea Cruises, meanwhile, will add four expedition ships to the Royal Caribbean portfolio as the recently-converted Silver Cloud sails alongside the Discoverer, Galapagos and Explorer.

The Discoverer will then exit the Silversea fleet next summer at conclusion of her long-term charter agreement.

Earlier in October, Silversea ordered the Silver Origin, another 100-guest newbuild for Galapagos service, with a delivery expected in early 2020.

By 2020, Celebrity will have 200 berths in the expedition market, all in the Galapagos, while Silversea will have just under 500 berths, based on the current cruise ship orderbook.

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