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Royal Caribbean CEO: Delta Hasn’t Shaken Cruise Industry

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain said that despite its devastating effects, the Delta coronavirus variant “has not shaken the underlying trajectory” of the cruise industry.

“I like to ruminate for a moment on why that is,” Fain said in a video address.

He compared the battle against the coronavirus with the WW2 Battle of the Bulge in Belgium.

“Like World War 2, we’re fighting a powerful and determined enemy. It’s a hard battle, and fighting it is costing us heavily in casualties and money. But it’s a battle we simply can’t afford to lose,” Fain said. “We are a country that admires rugged individualism. But despite that individualism, there are times when we need to do what is best for all rather than doing just what seems best for me personally. Sometimes we have to sacrifice some of that individuality to look out for each other.”

Fain reminded that to get life back to normal, everyone needs to get vaccinated.

“We all need to do what it takes to contain COVID by taking the vaccine – not for ourselves but for our loved ones, our friends, and yes, for our country,” Fain noted. “Delta hasn’t changed our ultimate trajectory towards containing this disease. My hope is that we can speed up that ultimate victory by acting together and getting vaccinated. But we are going to defeat this virus eventually. The Delta variant is a big bump in the road, but the fundamental pathway is clear. Cases are up, but that will soon peak. Hospitalizations and fatalities are up by a much lesser degree and mostly among those who have made a voluntary choice to refuse the vaccine.”

He also highlighted that cruises are “upward,” and “forward booking shows that the pent-up demand is strong.”

“All in all, it is precisely the trajectory that we hoped for pre-Delta and one which looks set to resume shortly,” Fain noted.

“More than half of our fleet is already operating, and more ships are opening up every day. Bookings – especially those in the near term – are still not at the level we and you want to make the kind of money that we all need, but that too is ramping up. The end of this battle is in sight, but we can’t let down our guard,” he added.

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