Cruise giant Carnival Corporation plans to “accelerate” the sale of ships with agreements in place already to sell six vessels.
The company said it expected these six ships to leave the fleet “in the next 90 days” and added that it was “currently working toward additional agreements” to sell more ships.
Carnival, which owns brands such as Cunard, P&O, Princess and Holland America, said it planned to resume cruises in a “phased manner”, with initial sailings from a “select number of easily accessible homeports”.
Although it stressed it was “unable to definitively predict when it will return to normal operations”.
“The company expects future capacity to be moderated by the phased re-entry of its ships, the removal of capacity from its fleet and delays in new ship deliveries,” added Carnival as it announced its second quarter financial results.
Carnival added that it was “proactively consulting and working in close co-operation” with medical policy experts and public health authorities to develop “enhanced” health and safety procedures and protocols on its ships.
The company said there was “growing demand” for 2021 with two-thirds of bookings for next year being new – the rest of the 2021 sales are from clients who have rebooked from this year using future cruise credits (FCCs).
Total advanced bookings for 2021 across all Carnival’s brands were “within historical ranges”, although prices are down in “the low to mid-single digits range”, with sales picking up in the six weeks to the end of May compared with the previous six weeks.
Carnival, which expects to burn through an average of $650 million per month while its cruises are suspended, said it had access to $7.6 billion of liquidity to help see it through the Covid-19 crisis and hoped to improve its cash position further through refinancing its debt.
The crisis has caused Carnival to slump to a $4.4 billion loss for the second quarter of 2020, with revenues of $700 million – down from $4.8 billion during the same period in 2019.