July 2023 Cruise Industry Preview

Explora I

As the global cruise industry welcomes in the first full month of summer, a number of intriguing storylines are emerging.

  • Explora debut: MSC’s new luxury brand debuts this month as Explora Journeys takes delivery of the new Explora I from Fincantieri on July 6. Revenue operations start from Southampton on July 16.
  • Ships are full: by all accounts ships are full this summer, with the industry returning to historic occupancy levels.
  • Stock prices: cruise stocks were at 52-week highs at the end of June, with Carnival Corporation rallying after what was said to be a strong investor day in New York following its second quarter earnings call.
  • Vantage mess: Will United Travel come out victorious in its bid for the assets of Vantage Travel, which declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June? The bankruptcy process will continue into August by all accounts, and court documents specify a timeline for other bidders to submit offers for the Boston-based company.
  • More details: The industry is waiting to learn about the restart in China, where Royal Caribbean International and Adora Cruises have already confirmed plans. Meanwhile, Cruise Saudi’s Aroya Cruises brand has a ship in Germany undergoing an extensive refit.
  • Starlink roll out continues: Internet trouble may soon be a thing of the past, as cruise lines are racing to install SpaceX’s Starlink on ships. Scenic was the latest adopter.

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