Carnival CEO: Cruise demand exceeds supply

The world's largest cruise operator is confident in its health safety measures

Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald says customers are cruising back to the company's ships with demand exceeding current supply as they set sail from the U.S. again for the first time after a hiatus brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

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CCL CARNIVAL CORP. 22.80 -0.36 -1.55%

Donald joined FOX Business' "The Claman Countdown" Friday to discuss Carnival's resumption of departures from the U.S. starting early next month, beginning with the "Vista" setting sail from Galveston to the western Caribbean on July 3.

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And he said pandemic fears are fading. 

"Honestly, people are chomping at the bit to cruise again. We do not have an issue with being able to fill the ships. People are ready to sail and they know the long history of the cruise industry" he added "In fact, we have far more demand than we have ships available to supply right now."

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Donald pointed out that his company continued cruises in Europe during the pandemic prior to vaccines becoming available, but limited the capacity of the ships to allow for social distancing. He noted that of the 400,000 or so guests that sailed Carnival lines abroad during the pandemic, there were less than 50 coronavirus cases on board the ships.

Earlier this week Carnival Corporation reported losing $2.1 billion during the second quarter due to pandemic shutdowns but saw booking volumes for future cruises jump 45% from the previous quarter. Meanwhile, cumulative bookings for 2022 are already ahead of bookings from 2019, which was a strong year.

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All told, Carnival says 42 ships equating to more than half its fleet spanning nine brands have either resumed sailing or have announced that they will by the end of November.

Carnival stock closed up more than 2% at $28.10 a share on Friday and has seen a gradual rise in 2021 as the firm climbs back from a 2020 low of just $8.49.