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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Is Terrorism Affecting European Cruise Bookings?

Both European ocean and river cruise reservations are feeling the affects of the recent terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and Turkey. Even in instances where capacity remains the same or grows, first quarter earnings calls for 2016 indicate that revenue is down from expectations, at least among North American travelers.

Seatrade Cruise News quoted Viking Cruises chairman Torstein Hagen as saying that this year’s European river traffic has been “a bit weaker than anticipated due to the events in Paris and Brussels. Everybody feels that.”

And he’s right. Frank Del Rio, President and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. also said, “European sailings are under pressure. The cumulative impact of successive events across Europe in the past month have indeed affected booking patterns for sailings in the region, particularly among North American consumers who have comprised the majority of our sourcing pool.”

Del Rio added, “The weaker demand from high-spending North Americans has increased our reliance on local European sourcing, which have historically booked closer in, and at lower prices, and with lower onboard spend.”

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is also in a position that it is sourcing clientele for its brands more from Europe. Jason Liberty, the company’s chief financial officer, said, “…demand for Mediterranean sailings has been strong particularly from European points of sale, and load factor is ahead of last year. However, recent geopolitical eve

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