Proving there is still significant latent demand for going on a cruise, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH -0.80%) said its Oceania Cruise brand notched a record by booking the most voyages in a single day in the company's 18-year history.
Oceania, a small fleet of six luxury ships, opened the collection of 127 itineraries for the winter 2022-2023 cruise season on March 3 and was met with a wave of demand. While it saw voyages to Asia, Africa, and South America rise to the top, Norwegian said the single best-selling cruise was a 35-day excursion that circumnavigated Australia over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Cruise lines have been stuck in port since the onset of the pandemic, and Norwegian and its industry peers have been largely awaiting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to update its sailing guidelines so they can return to sea.
The CDC has failed to act on this, forcing cruise ship operators to continuously postpone their resumption schedule. While Norwegian, Carnival (CCL -1.33%)(CUK -1.20%), and Disney (DIS -2.00%) had previously canceled almost all of their cruises until June, Royal Caribbean (RCL -0.39%) only just did so the other day.
Yet the cruise lines have reported customers are still interested in sailing and they have seen strong booking numbers. The Oceania record underscores consumer demand still exists, though it is far out into the future. Far enough, perhaps, that the CDC will have allowed Norwegian and the others to begin sailing again and not force them to cancel more voyages.