Royal Caribbean Group 2024 Preview

Icon of the Seas

From new cruise ships to new itineraries, the Royal Caribbean Group is getting ready for an upbeat 2024.

Cruise Industry News looks into the most anticipated events taking place across the company’s brands over the year.

World’s Largest Cruise Ship, the Icon of the Seas, Enters Service

After being delivered to Royal Caribbean International in late 2023, the Icon of the Seas will officially debut on January 27, 2024.

Assuming the title of world’s largest cruise ship, the 250,000-ton vessel is set to offer a series of seven-night cruises to the Caribbean departing from PortMiami for its maiden season.

The first in a new series of ships that also includes the 2025-built Star of the Seas, the Icon is also introducing several innovations to the company’s fleet, including one of the largest water parks at sea and the AquaDome, a unique transformational venue featuring a huge waterfall.

More Newbuilds for Royal Caribbean, Silversea and TUI

While the Icon of the Seas is launching service in early 2024, three additional newbuilds are being delivered to the Royal Caribbean Group brands in 2024.

Following the Silver Nova, the Silver Ray is set to enter service for Silversea Cruises in August. TUI Cruises will celebrate the maiden voyage of the new Mein Schiff 7 in June.

Royal Caribbean International is also welcoming a second vessel during the new year: the Utopia of the Seas. Completing the Oasis-Class, the 5,714-guest cruise ship is set to launch service in July, with a series of short cruises to the Bahamas.

Celebrity: Year-Round Programs in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean

Celebrity Cruises is introducing seeral deployment developments in 2024, including a unique year-round program in Europe onboard the Celebrity Infinity.

The company is also doubling its year-round presence in the Caribbean with the 2020-built Celebrity Beyond joined by the Celebrity Reflection for summer itineraries that feature visits to Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay.

In a first, Celebrity is also offering year-round sailings to Asia onboard the Celebrity Millennium, which is set to offer a series of 12-day cruises to Japan during the summer.

 Return to China and More Capacity to Asia

In addition to returning to China, the Royal Caribbean Group is also dedicating more capacity to Asia in 2024. Following the Caribbean with 55 percent and Europe with 15 percent, the Asia/Pacific region will represent 10 percent of the group’s overall capacity this year.

While Celebrity introduces its year-round program onboard in the region the Millennium, the Spectrum of the Seas is also set to offer year-round cruises in Asia. Marking Royal Caribbean’s return to the Chinese market, the 2019-built vessel offers departures from Shanghai and Hong Kong starting in April.

The Anthem of the Seas is also debuting in Asia in November, with a series of cruises departing from Singapore.

Upbeat Financial Outlook

With demand continuing to accelerate, the Royal Caribbean Group is looking at an upbeat forecast for 2024.

According to the company’s CEO Jason Liberty, while the booking window continues to extend, the year is seeing higher booked load factors and rates compared to all prior years.

As a result, the company is working with an adjusted EPS guidance for “at least $9” for 2024, Liberty said in late 2023.

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