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Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America, Seabourn score record bookings

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Royal Caribbean's newest ship, Wonder of the Seas, at left, and Holland America Line's Westerdam in Alaska
Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and Seabourn are among the latest operators amassing record bookings.

These follow Carnival Cruise Line's record Cyber Monday.

Royal Caribbean's Icon appeal

For Royal Caribbean, Black Friday was its single largest booking day in the line's 53-year history. This marked the third time the record was broken in 2022 and the peak of what is now the brand’s highest volume booking week.

The strong performance came on the heels of a record booking day when Icon of the Seas opened for sales 15 months ahead of its January 2024 debut.

'... It's a wonderful start to 2023 and we are excited for what lies ahead,' RCI President/CEO Michael Bayley said. 'We could not have reached this point without our loyal guests, valued travel advisors and partners, and the Royal Caribbean International team around the world.'

Royal Caribbean marked both its single largest booking day and highest volume booking week in April, followed by another record-breaking single day of bookings with Icon's sales launch in October.

Celebrity Cruises' Beyond momentum, new deployments

Sister brand Celebrity Cruises, meanwhile, posted its single largest booking day ever on Black Friday, followed by its strongest Cyber Monday in history.

These followed the recent inauguration of Celebrity Beyond and a new 'Journey WonderFULL' campaign.

'All of the recent exposure highlighting Celebrity’s innovative ship design and onboard offerings built incredible demand from consumers longing to experience the world in new ways and through a new level of relaxed luxury,' Celebrity President/CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said. She cited demand 'across the full depth and breadth of our itinerary offerings around the globe.'

Passengers are locking in vacations on new itineraries in Europe, Alaska, the Caribbean, Japan and Southeast Asia. Celebrity's offerings include new homeports for some of its Edge-class ships and new year-round cruises in Europe with overnights and double overnights in port.

Holland America Line's Alaska strength

At Holland America Line, Black Friday US booking volumes hit a record high, with volume for the day close to 20% higher than in 2019 and more than 10% higher for the period from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

The trend was especially noticeable in Alaska bookings, where HAL offers an 'Alaska Up Close' experience. Black Friday US bookings for Alaska were up more than 60% compared to 2019 and up more than 25% for the Black Friday through Cyber Monday timeframe.

'Our guests went on a shopping spree this weekend, and it wasn't at the mall,' Holland America President Gus Antorcha said. 'We are very pleased to see pent-up demand for cruising play out in such a significant way, especially in Alaska where we are the pioneers of cruise travel and the only cruise line with owned land operations in Denali and Yukon.'

The line's Black Friday incentives end Dec. 1. Starting Dec. 2, travelers can get a 10% bonus via a special gift card offer in time for holiday giving.

Seabourn's expedition boost

Seabourn reported its best monthly performance during November, booking a record number of passengers for 2023 and 2024 sailings. In addition, the line chalked up its best one-week booking period ever for expedition voyages since launching new expedition ship Seabourn Venture in July.

Seabourn President Josh Leibowitz said the brand tripled bookings compared to the same period for 2019 sailings.

'Our teams have done an incredible job telling the Seabourn ocean and expedition story to both guests and travel advisor partners,' Leibowitz said. He added the ‘This Is Your Moment’ campaign has resonated, onboard team have consistently delivered ‘Seabourn Moments’ to guests, and travel advisor partners have the confidence in Seabourn to deliver for their clients.

The line's 'Black Friday Sail' offers are available through Dec. 5, and rates will increase Dec. 6.

 

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