The Royal Caribbean group has 14 ships under construction or on order, with 11 of them now planned for delivery a year later than initially planned.
Only three of the Royal Caribbean Cruises group’s ships will be delivered on schedule
Royal Caribbean Cruises made the announcement during its third quarter earnings call, in which it admitted that cash flow remained challenging, but it expected to return to profitability by 2022.
Royal Caribbean, along with the rest of the global cruise industry, was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the suspension of cruises across the world for much of 2020.
The 14 ships that the group has on order represents around 48,000 berths. Royal Caribbean said that the delayed deliveries would help the company moderate capacity growth and overcome pandemic-related delays and supply chain issues.
Royal Caribbean International’s Wonder of the Seas will still be delivered in 2022, with the first Icon-class ship Icon of the Seas on track for a 2023 delivery, while Silversea’s Silver Dawn will be delivered in 2021 as planned.
All other vessels will be delayed by a year. This includes the second and third Icon-class cruise ships, which will be delivered in 2025 and 2026, as well as a sixth Oasis-class ship ordered for Royal Caribbean international from Chantiers de l’Atlantique, which will now join the fleet in the second quarter of 2024 as opposed to 2023.
The fourth Celebrity Edge class ship, following Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Apex and Celebrity Beyond, will now join the fleet in late 2023 as opposed to 2022.
A previously ordered fifth Edge class ship for Celebrity will be delivered in 2025 instead of 2024, which is contingent upon completion of contractual conditions and financing, according to Royal Caribbean.
TUI’s Mein Schiff 7 will now sail in the second quarter of 2024 instead of 2023, and Silversea’s next generation ships that were originally scheduled to be delivered in 2022 and 2023 will now debut in 2023 and 2024.
When the pandemic emerged in 2020, it forced the major European shipyards to shut down for safety reasons, with social distancing and other mitigation measures then adding additional delays to the construction process for dozens of cruise ships.
Although all are now operating at capacity, it was long anticipated that cruise lines would have to shift the delivery dates for many of their vessels.
Royal Caribbean’s latest announcement mirrors that of the Carnival Corporation group, which earlier announced that all but one of its deliveries for 2021 would be delayed.