Analyst: Hurricanes Could Impact Cruise Business More Than Anticipated

Carnival Vista

One financial analyst thinks financial impact for cruise lines from hurricane-related cancellations and changes may be a bit more substantive than originally thought. 

Robin Farley, a financial analyst from UBS Investment Services, who follows the cruise industry for investors, put out an investor note today about Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise company. It said:

“Although our initial channel checks after Hurricane Irma still had the cruise lines in a very strong booked position for 2018 and the rest of 2017, subsequent hurricane disruption compounded by [Hurricane] Maria has led to much more disruption and uncertainty in the near term than the cruise industry has seen from hurricane seasons previously.”

She told investor that the hurricane impact, “though still only a temporary disruption,” may disrupt the fourth quarter 2017, not just a few days of sailing.

“The cruise lines had previously been focusing on 2018, but have now had to retrench to focus on close-in Caribbean sailings in 2017, so we may not have seen the brunt of hurricane impact on fourth quarter pricing,” Farley wrote. 

She also said that for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the other two largest cruise companies, “hurricane disruption will be spread between quarter three and quarter four, while more will fall in quarter four for Carnival Corporation. 

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