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Bayley: 'Natural demand' for cruises, with US market keyed to summer 2021

Quantum of the Seas will continue sailing from Singapore
During the first two weeks of sales opening for Quantum of the Seas' cruises from Singapore, which start in December, demand was triple what Royal Caribbean expected.

And prices were higher than expected, according to Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

'We were really quite surprised by the level of demand' for the three-, four- and five-day ocean voyages, Bayley said during Thursday's earnings call.

He also noted Europeans are booking cruises now, despite coronavirus cases rising there.

'There is demand in the marketplace, and it's coming quite naturally,' Bayley said.

US market

In the US, three or fourth months ago most people believed COVID would be moving behind them by the end of 2020, he continued. That shifted and now most believe the virus will decline during 2021 with a vaccine, therapeutics, etc.

'Consumers lost their summer 2020. There's a belief that COVID is moving behind us at some point in 2021. We see that in the American market with our products, with a particular emphasis on summer 2021,' Bayley said.

If the no-sail order is lifted, there will be an uptick in demand, he added, but people will wait and see, based on what's happening with the virus in their community.