Big Cruise Lines Are Still Burning Cash. Here’s How Much

Fresh off a trio of earnings announcements, Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings are still burning through tremendous amounts of cash with ships sitting idle and without guests cruising apart from a handful of ships sailing with trimmed occupancy. 

Combined the world’s three largest cruise companies are mowing through just over $1 billion per month to keep their ships operational and companies in tact.

Carnival Corporation

Carnival’s monthly average cash burn rate for the fourth quarter 2020 was $500 million, which was slightly better than expected due to the timing of capital expenditures. 

The company expects the monthly average cash burn rate for the first quarter 2021 to be approximately $600 million.

Royal Caribbean Group

Royal Caribbean estimates its cash burn to be, on average, in the range of approximately $250 million to $290 million per month during a prolonged suspension of operations. 

As the cruise line starts returning its fleet into service, it has and will incur incremental spend as it brings the ships out of their various levels of la yup, returns the crew to the vessels, takes the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the recommended protocols and gears up its sales and marketing activities.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

For the first quarter of 2021, Norwegian said it expects its the average cash burn rate to temporarily remain elevated at approximately $190 million per month, or approximately $170 million per month excluding non-recurring debt modification costs, as it ramps down relaunch-related expenses and repatriates crew.

The company’s monthly average cash burn for the fourth quarter 2020 was approximately $190 million and included approximately $15 million per month of additional relaunch-related expenses as the company began preparing vessels for a potential return to service in early 2021, in connection with the CDC Conditional Order, which did not materialize.



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