After Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. secured a $2.2 billion
loan facility to improve liquidity with its fleet inactive, an analyst is
saying that other cruise lines should do the same.
“Given that cruise operations could be restricted for
months, it is crucial that businesses secure financing to ensure they can
navigate a period of great uncertainty,” said Ben Cordwell, a travel and
tourism analyst at research firm GlobalData.
GlobalData found that Royal Caribbean has cash and cash
equivalents (liquid assets) of $243.7 million. Norwegian Cruise Line has $225
million. Carnival has $518 million.
It doesn’t appear that the cruise lines will benefit from Congress’
$2 trillion rescue bill that was passed by the Senate on Wednesday. The bill says eligible companies must be created or organized in the U.S. or under the laws of the U.S. and have significant operations in and a majority of its employees based in the U.S. Airlines,
hotels and travel agents qualify under those conditions but cruise lines do not.
Both CLIA and Carnival Corp. said that the industry had lobbied in support of help for the travel advisor community.
"We are grateful that more than 30,000 CLIA travel agent members, most of which operate small and medium-sized business, will be able to receive much-needed relief under the bill as proposed," said Anne Madison, a spokesperson at CLIA. "There are more than 420,000 people in the United States whose jobs are supported by the cruise industry, and we will continue to work with policymakers to help this critical community recover from the impact of this pandemic."
Carnival Corp. also told Travel Weekly that the company had not
requested any support from the federal government.
“We did not ask nor expect a cash bailout, but we have been
advocating, along with other cruise lines, for support for travel agents around
the country,” a Carnival spokesman said.