Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: NCLH) (together with NCL Corporation Ltd., “Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings”, “Norwegian” or the “Company”) reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020.
“In recent weeks, we have taken further action to bolster our liquidity position in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, including our highly successful $1.5 billion gross triple-tranche capital raise in July, which we believe positions us to withstand a scenario of prolonged voyage suspensions,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “Our guests continue to demonstrate their desire for cruise vacations in the future. Looking ahead, we made significant progress in our Roadmap to Relaunch with the formation of our Healthy Sail Panel, comprised of globally recognised public health experts, which is tasked with providing recommendations to advance our public health response to COVID-19 and inform us on the development of a science-backed plan for a safe and healthy return to cruising.”
Along with the broader travel and leisure industry, the Company has experienced swift and significant impacts related to the COVID-19 global pandemic which have resulted in voyage suspensions through October 31, 2020. While booking volumes since the emergence of COVID-19 remain below historical levels, the Company’s overall cumulative booked position and pricing for 2021 are within historical ranges including bookings made with future cruise credits.
All three brands have instituted programs for guests on cancelled sailings as a result of the Company’s voyage suspension which include offering value-add future cruise credits typically for 125% of the cruise fare paid in lieu of providing cash refunds. These future cruise credits are valid for any sailing through December 31, 2022. As of August 3, 2020, approximately 60% of the guests who have had their voyages cancelled have requested cash refunds. As of June 30, 2020, the Company had $1.2 billion of advanced ticket sales, including the long-term portion, which includes approximately $0.8 billion of future cruise credits. The Company continues to take future bookings and receive new customer deposits and final payments on these bookings.
To provide additional flexibility to its guests, the Company has also introduced a new final payment schedule for all 2020 voyages which requires final payment 60 days prior to embarkation versus the standard 120 days.
In July, the Company announced a collaboration with Royal Caribbean Group to assemble a group of experts, the “Healthy Sail Panel”, which is tasked with developing recommendations for cruise lines to advance their public health response to COVID-19, improve safety, and achieve readiness for the safe resumption of operations.
The panel is co-chaired by Governor Mike Leavitt, former Secretary of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services (HHS), and Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The panel’s members are globally recognized experts from various disciplines, including in public health, infectious disease, biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations. The panel’s work will be “open source,” and can be freely adopted by any company or industry that would benefit from the group’s scientific and medical insights.
The Company has also successfully completed the safe repatriation of the vast majority of its shipboard team members to their homes around the globe. To date, the Company has worked tirelessly to repatriate over 21,000 shipboard team members, to over 75 countries, through a combination of chartered and commercial air flights as well as the use of certain of the Company’s ships. The Company expects the repatriation efforts to be largely completed within 45 days.
The Company continues to take swift, proactive measures to further mitigate the financial and operational impacts of COVID-19. This action plan includes previously outlined cost reduction and cash conservation levers which include reducing operating and capital expenditures, improving the debt maturity profile and securing additional capital.
The Company’s targeted monthly cash burn is on average, approximately $160 million per month during the suspension of operations. This includes ongoing ship operating expenses, administrative operating expenses, interest expense, taxes and expected capital expenditures and excludes cash refunds of customer deposits as well as cash inflows from new and existing bookings. This also excludes debt amortization and newbuild related payments which are currently deferred through March 31, 2021. The new monthly cash burn estimate is at the high end of the previously disclosed range due to additional interest expense related to the July capital raise, maintaining more ships in warm layup due to various port requirements and weather restrictions, increased costs associated with fluctuating travel restrictions for crew and additional marketing investments.