New-to-cruise and young passengers driving Royal Caribbean Group sales

New-to-cruise customers and younger passengers are driving sales for Royal Caribbean Group, according to president Jason Liberty.

Speaking during a quarterly financial results call on April 25, Liberty claimed one in two passengers who were booked to sail with Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises or Silversea Cruises in the three months up to March 31 was a millennial or younger, up 11% compared to 2019.

Currently, millennials range in age from about 28 to 43.

Meanwhile, new-to-cruise customers booked during that period was 16% higher than the same months in 2023, he said, and repeat customers were up 30% compared to pre-pandemic.

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“New to cruise continues to grow,” said Liberty. “These guests are discovering our differentiated vacation experiences and are increasingly returning to us, as we see repeat rates over 30% higher compared to 2019.

“Our brands also continue to attract new and younger customers. Millennials and younger generations have gained 11% share compared to 2019 and today, one in two guests are millennials or younger.”

Liberty attributed the growth in new-to-cruise and younger passengers to the group’s investment in its private island destinations, Perfect Day at CocoCay, The Royal Beach Club Paradise Island (pictured), scheduled to open next year, and The Royal Beach Club Cozumel, due to open in 2026.

He said the brands are “enhancing” the experience they offer both on board and in their land-based destinations, saying the combination is driving sales.

“One of the incredible things we’re seeing it our destinations like Perfect Day and Royal Beach Club are drawing in new-to-cruise customers,” he said.

Royal Caribbean chief executive Michael Bayley added: “We’ve got the formula figured out and our plan is to continue to evolve and develop that formula in the coming years.”

Asked whether the group would consider moving into the river cruise market, Liberty said Royal Caribbean Group is “always evaluating opportunities”.

“River is an area we see some overlap [with our customers] so it could be something we might consider at some point in the future,” he said. “But at this point, we are just looking at growing our core business and building out our destination platform.”

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