“Bookings improved each week during the first quarter, as the impact from omicron faded,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, on the company’s first quarter earnings call.
“For the past eight weeks, bookings have been meaningfully higher than 2019 with particular strength (on) North American itineraries.”
Liberty acknowledged there were “some headwinds” in Europe, but in North America, bookings are trending much better. The region represents 70 percent of hte cruise company’s capacity this year, he said.
“(They) have been trending much better with recent bookings more than 40% ahead of 2019 levels,” Liberty said. “We are also seeing an increased volume of close in bookings as consumers seem to be making their vacation decisions closer to their sailing date.
“This contributed to better than expected load factors in March, despite the impact of the omicron variant earlier this year,” continued Liberty. “We continue to build on the demand environment for the rest of this year and into 2023.”