Carnival Cruise Revenue Surges on the Back of Onboard Spending and Demand

Carnival Corp (CCL) posted record first-quarter revenue, buoyed by booking volumes at an all-time high.

Carnival Jubilee aerial view
Carnival Jubilee

It generated Q1 revenues of $5.4 billion with record net yields, while the adjusted net loss was narrower than expected. Ticket revenues were 26%, while onboard sales rose by 14.7%.

Net Yields Boost

Thanks to a ‘monumental’ wave season, total customer deposits were at Q1 record levels of $7 billion, and looking forward, Carnival expects net yields to rise around 9.5% versus 2023.

“We delivered another strong quarter that outperformed guidance on every measure while concluding a monumental wave season,” said Carnival Corp CEO Josh Weinstein. “This is setting us up nicely to deliver a nearly double-digit improvement in net yields.”

The Outlook for 2024

For the year, Carnival expects adjusted EBITDA of about $5.63 billion, which represents 30% growth in 2023 and above the December guidance. Specifically for Q2, the company targets EBITDA year-over-year growth of 50%. This is despite the impact of about $130 million due to the rerouting of Red Sea itineraries and associated costs.

A rendering of the Sun Princess on its maiden cruise in the ocean.
Sun Princess (Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

The current guidance hasn’t yet factored in the expected $10 million hit caused by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

Carnival Cruise Line said yesterday it would temporarily relocate Carnival Legend’s operations from Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia. Guests on the current sailing and those booked on upcoming cruises are being notified of the change.

“Looking forward over the next several years, we expect revenue growth, a responsible approach to capital investment, and ongoing efforts to refinance debt to deliver substantial free cash flow,” Chief Financial Officer David Bernstein said.

Earlier this week Carnival Cruise Line announced the order of its fifth Excel-class ship that will debut in 2028.

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