The Royal Caribbean cruise conglomerate has dropped the word “cruises” from its name as the industry takes a beating from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Miami-based travel company announced Thursday that it changed its name from Royal Caribbean Cruises to Royal Caribbean Group. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain called it a “simpler, fresher and more modern” moniker for an entity that encompasses half a dozen brands, including the eponymous Royal Caribbean International.
“It’s also more descriptive — Royal Caribbean Group sounds like a parent company name, reflective of our growth and evolution since we last updated our identity more than 20 years ago,” Fain said in a statement.
The names of Royal Caribbean’s cruise lines — which also include Celebrity Cruises, Silversea, Azamara, TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises — haven’t changed, but they’re “now proud members of Royal Caribbean Group,” the company said.
Royal Caribbean Group quietly started using its new name in press releases back in March, around the time it first suspended its large passenger ships because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has since announced plans to keep its boats docked through at least Sept. 30 as the virus continued to spread.
Royal Caribbean reported a net loss of $1.4 billion for the first quarter of this year as the pandemic roiled the industry, which ferries people to vacation spots by boat. Crowding on cruise ships make them risky settings for spreading the deadly disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency recorded 99 COVID-19 outbreaks on cruise ships from March 1 through July 10, leading to nearly 3,000 infections and 34 deaths.
Royal Caribbean shares were down about 1.6 percent at $50.19 as of 12:27 p.m. Thursday.
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