Cruises aren’t dead, after all $NCLH $CCL $RCL

March 3, 2023

It’s the beginning of March and you know what that means…Spring Break is just around the corner.

And LikeFolio data -- alongside recent company reports -- confirm:

Consumers continue to prioritize experiences, like travel, when it comes to discretionary spend.

  • Airbnb (ABNB) noted its highest number of active bookers yet, despite the challenging macro environment in its latest earnings release, noting: “Looking forward to 2023, we’re seeing strong demand in Q1, indicating that consumer confidence to travel remains high.”
  • Booking (BKNG) noted a +36% jump in revenue vs. the same quarter the year prior, and also called out continued consumer strength in travel: "We are encouraged by the continued strength and resiliency of demand from travelers last year and into the new year…”

Cruise Demand Exceeds Pre-Covid Levels

Not only are consumers prioritizing experiences… they’re checking out cruises specifically.

Consumer mentions for booking a cruise are booming: +47% YoY, exceeding even pre-pandemic levels.

Some of this demand is related to the all-inclusive nature of cruises – especially in a time when consumers are looking to save where they can.

In fact, Purchase intent data is strong for all major players in this space, with NCLH touting a slight edge vs. peers.

But NCLH stock sank initially following its Q4 report this week, taking peers down with it.

What drove this?

Despite robust consumer demand, the company reported a wider-than-expected loss.

RCL reported 22Q4 earnings in early February, topping EPS estimates and sending shares higher.

Investors will hear how CCL has managed expenses when it reports earnings later in March.

For now, cost management takes center stage…and RCL clearly has an edge.

But long-term, all cruise lines are well positioned for growth thanks to robust consumer demand, if they can control costs.

And NCLH demand looks the strongest of all.

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