Analyst: Cruise lines’ private islands will flourish after restart

An analyst at international financial services company UBS has told investors that cruise lines with private islands will likely come out atop the rest, while insisting that Royal Caribbean Group’s freshly renovated Coco Cay private island destination will likely drive cruisers to the cruise line, according to an article on

The analyst, Robin Farley, contended in the article that Coco Cay’s “amenities and attractions” and the company’s addition of a pier to remove the need for tendering, means the company could see a boost when it begins sailing again.

She added that cruise lines’ private islands will be attractive when sailings restart because the cruise lines can better manage their COVID-19 free environment if they stay away from major population centers like Nassau.

“Farley has told clients she believes that after the COVID-19 hiatus, serving US cruise customers will depend heavily on cruise company-owned islands because they offer a more easily controlled environment,” the article states.

Carnival Cruise Line, MSC and Norwegian Cruise Line all have private islands in The Bahamas that are likely to be strong selling points when cruise begins again.

However, the article predicts that Royal Caribbean’s $250 million investment in Coco Cay, which included the addition of the tallest waterslide in the North America region, a wave pool and zip lining, will take the top spot for cruise enthusiasts.

Royal Caribbean’s President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Bayley told the Miami Dade Tourism and Ports Committee last week that the company is ready to return to service and believes it has adequately prepared itself in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re very optimistic that we will be able to return to service,” said Bayley.

“We’re certainly better prepared today than we were yesterday and we believe we will be better prepared for tomorrow. It’s time that the cruise industry returns to service and we’re ready.”

While it is likely that cruise lines will initially favor their private islands and shorter cruise itineraries when the industry restarts, Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said he has informed the companies that they must return to The Bahamas’ population centers as quickly as possible in order to spur economic activity.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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