As shares for cruise lines RCL and CCL show recent strength, we had to ask: are consumers ready to cruise again? According to sentiment, yes.
Consumer happiness for both major cruise lines in our universe has improved significantly from Covid-induced travel fears. Demand for booking a cruise is also beginning to pick back up, increasing +35% QoQ. Note -- this is lower than the resurgence we're witnessing in flying for leisure, currently pacing +97% QoQ. This discrepancy may be less related to muted cruise demand and more of a reflection of the current regulatory environment keeping U.S. ships docked. External booking data supports plenty of pent-up demand for cruises: the pace of 2022 bookings for all types of cruises is 30% to 35% ahead of where it normally would be at this point in the booking cycle. A regional breakout shows high demand for sailings in Europe and Alaska (bookings up +100%) while Caribbean sailings are flat (+5%). We'll be watching demand for the main players in the space as ships leave port to see if any opportunities present.