Carnival Corporation had enough cash to survive a cruise-less 2021, according to CEO Arnold Donald who talked with investors on Monday, January 11.
The company reported a net loss of US$2.2 billion during the final quarter of last year but ended 2020 with US$9.5 billion in liquidity, which was enough to endure at least 12 more months without sailings, Donald said. In order to tighten supply, the company had divested of 15 cruise ships from its pre-pandemic fleet of 105 and planned to bid farewell to 4 more in the coming weeks.
Carnival has returned 30 of its vessels to U.S. waters since the U.S. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) lifted its months-long no-sail order in October 2020, replacing it with requirements cruise lines need to meet in order to resume passenger sailings. Carnival Corporation had removed all of its ships from U.S. waters in June 2020.
Ships in U.S. waters are required to test crew for Coronavirus (COVID-19) weekly and report results to the Centers. According to Carnival's CEO, the company was still awaiting guidelines from the public health agency about when and how it would operate test cruises, one of the next requirements.
Details regarding the resumption of passenger operations are still unknown but Donald said demand from past cruisers remained strong. Cumulative advanced bookings for the second half of the new year were within the historical range and the cumulative advanced bookings for the first half of next year were ahead of 2019.