Embarking on a triumphant journey into 2024, Carnival Corporation stands at the forefront of the cruise industry’s resurgence, with record-breaking bookings and eagerly anticipated launches of a new ship and private island destination.
Record Bookings Reflect Rising Cruise Popularity
Carnival Corporation witnessed an unprecedented surge in bookings, reaching a historic peak as it closed Q4 2023. This increase is particularly noteworthy around key sales periods such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The substantial rise in bookings reflects a growing consumer interest in cruise vacations, indicating a robust recovery and a promising future for the cruise industry.
The company reports that almost two-thirds of its occupancy for 2024 is already booked, highlighting the enduring appeal of cruising post-pandemic. Notably, occupancy in the fourth quarter of 2023 was over 101 percent, in line with the company’s expectations.
Worth Reading: What Cruise Lines Does Carnival Own?
Additionally, total customer deposits reached a fourth-quarter record of $6.4 billion, surpassing the previous fourth-quarter record of $5.1 billion (as of November 30, 2022) by 25 percent.
“We ended the year on a high note with another record-breaking quarter that exceeded expectations,” said Josh Weinstein, Carnival Corporation’s chief executive officer. “In fact, we consistently outperformed in all four quarters of the year, buoyed by the strengthening demand environment across all our brands.”
The demand is not limited to specific markets; North American brands like Princess Cruises and Holland America Line and European brands such as AIDA and Costa have seen significant growth. This wide-ranging interest underscores the global appeal of Carnival’s offerings.
Looking Ahead to Carnival’s Future
As Carnival Corporation sails into 2024, the company is gearing up for a year of significant growth, with projections pointing towards a return to historical occupancy levels and an anticipated growth of over 30 percent compared to 2023. This outlook underscores Carnival’s resilience and leadership in the cruise industry.
Key strategies for 2024 include the launch of new ships like Carnival Jubilee and the exploration of new destinations, including Celebration Key. These initiatives, coupled with a focus on sustainable practices and enhancing guest experiences, are expected to play a pivotal role in driving the company’s revenue growth and elevating the guest experience.
Carnival Jubilee is set to debt on December 23 from its homeport in Galveston, Texas, becoming the 26th ship in the Carnival fleet and the third in the Excel class, alongside sister ships Mardi Gras and Celebration.
The vessel, matching its sister ships in size, has a gross tonnage of 183,521 and can accommodate 5,374 guests at double occupancy. At full capacity, the ship can host as many as 6,631 passengers, along with over 1,700 international crew members.
This ship, however, will hold the title of the newest fleet member for only a short period, as Carnival Firenze is scheduled to join the fleet in April 2024. Carnival Firenze, currently undergoing her conversion from Costa Cruises, will join Carnival Cruise Line, becoming the second ship under the “Carnival Fun, Italian Style” program following Carnival Venezia.
Earlier this year, Carnival Cruise Line also revealed its first itineraries for Celebration Key, its new $200-million private destination on Grand Bahama Island. Set to open in 2025, Celebration Key is expected to become a tropical paradise exclusively available to Carnival’s guests. Twelve Carnival ships from eight different homeports will embark on journeys to Celebration Key in 2025 and 2026, with 400 cruises now open for booking.
Carnival Cruise Line currently has no further ships on order.