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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                                    to                                   
Commission file number: 1-11884
ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Republic of Liberia
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
98-0081645
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
1050 Caribbean Way, Miami, Florida 33132
(Address of principal executive offices) (zip code)
(305539-6000
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $.01 per shareRCLNew York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes     No 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes     No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes     No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes     No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer 
Accelerated filer 
Non-accelerated filer 
Smaller reporting company 
Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes     No 
The aggregate market value of the registrant's common stock at June 30, 2019 (based upon the closing sale price of the common stock on the New York Stock Exchange on June 28, 2019) held by those persons deemed by the registrant to be non-affiliates was approximately $22.0 billion. Shares of the registrant's common stock held by each executive officer and director and by each entity or person that, to the registrant's knowledge, owned 10% or more of the registrant's outstanding common stock as of June 30, 2019 have been excluded from this number in that these persons may be deemed affiliates of the registrant. This determination of possible affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.
There were 209,000,016 shares of common stock outstanding as of February 21, 2020.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant's Definitive Proxy Statement relating to its 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference in Part III, Items 10-14 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K as indicated herein.



ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page



PART I
As used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the terms “Royal Caribbean,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and, depending on the context, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s consolidated subsidiaries and/or affiliates. The terms “Royal Caribbean International,” “Celebrity Cruises,” “Azamara” and “Silversea Cruises” refer to our wholly- or majority-owned global cruise brands. Throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we also refer to regional brands in which we hold an ownership interest, including “TUI Cruises,” and “Pullmantur.” However, because these regional brands are unconsolidated investments, our operating results and other disclosures herein do not include these brands unless otherwise specified. In accordance with cruise vacation industry practice, the term “berths” is determined based on double occupancy per cabin even though many cabins can accommodate three or more passengers.
This Annual Report on Form 10-K also includes trademarks, trade names and service marks of other companies. Use or display by us of other parties’ trademarks, trade names or service marks is not intended to and does not imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, these other parties other than as described herein.

1

Item 1. Business.
General
We are the world's second largest cruise company. We control and operate four global cruise brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea Cruises (collectively, our "Global Brands"). We also own a 50% joint venture interest in the German brand TUI Cruises and a 49% interest in the Spanish brand Pullmantur (collectively, our "Partner Brands"). Together, our Global Brands and our Partner Brands operate a combined total of 61 ships in the cruise vacation industry with an aggregate capacity of approximately 141,570 berths as of December 31, 2019.
Our ships operate on a selection of worldwide itineraries that call on more than 1,000 destinations on all seven continents. In addition to our headquarters in Miami, Florida, we have offices and a network of international representatives around the world, which primarily focus on sales and market development.
We compete principally by operating valued brands that offer exceptional service provided by our crew and on the basis of innovation and quality of ships, variety of itineraries, choice of destinations and price. We believe that our commitment to build state-of-the-art ships and to invest in the maintenance and upgrade of our fleet to, among other things, incorporate many of our latest signature innovations, allows us to continue to attract new and loyal repeat guests.
We believe cruising continues to be a popular vacation choice due to its inherent value, extensive itineraries and variety of shipboard and shoreside activities. In addition, we believe our brands are well-positioned globally and possess the ability to attract a wide range of guests by appealing to multiple customer bases allowing our global sourcing to be well diversified.
Royal Caribbean was founded in 1968 as a partnership. Its corporate structure has evolved over the years and, the current parent corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., was incorporated on July 23, 1985 in the Republic of Liberia under the Business Corporation Act of Liberia.
Our Global Brands
Our Global Brands include Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara, and Silversea Cruises.
We believe our Global Brands possess the versatility to enter multiple cruise market segments within the cruise vacation industry. Although each of our Global Brands has its own marketing style, as well as ships and crews of various sizes, the nature of the products sold and services delivered by our Global Brands share a common base (i.e., the sale and provision of cruise vacations). Our Global Brands also have similar itineraries as well as similar cost and revenue components. In addition, our Global Brands source passengers from similar markets around the world and operate in similar economic environments with a significant degree of commercial overlap. As a result, we strategically manage our Global Brands as a single business with the ultimate objective of maximizing long-term shareholder value.
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International is positioned to compete in both the contemporary and premium segments of the cruise vacation industry. The brand appeals to families with children of all ages, as well as both older and younger couples, providing cruises that generally feature a casual ambiance, as well as a variety of activities and entertainment venues. We believe that the quality of the Royal Caribbean International brand allows it to achieve market coverage that is among the broadest of any of the major cruise brands in the cruise vacation industry. Royal Caribbean International’s strategy is to attract an array of vacationing guests by providing a wide variety of itineraries to destinations worldwide, including Alaska, Asia, Australia, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, the Panama Canal and New Zealand, with cruise lengths ranging from two to 19 nights. Royal Caribbean International offers multiple innovative options for onboard dining, entertainment and other onboard activities. Because of the brand’s ability to deliver extensive and innovative product offerings at an excellent value to consumers, we believe Royal Caribbean International is well positioned to attract new consumers to cruising and to continue to bring loyal repeat guests back for their next vacation.

2

Royal Caribbean International operates 26 ships with an aggregate capacity of approximately 87,150 berths, including the brand's newest ship, Spectrum of the Seas, which entered service in April 2019. Additionally, as of December 31, 2019, we have six ships on order with an aggregate capacity of approximately 32,400 berths. These ships consist of our fifth Quantum-class ship, which is scheduled to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2020, our fifth and sixth Oasis-class ships, which are scheduled to enter service in the second quarter of 2021 and the fourth quarter of 2023, respectively, and the first three ships of a new generation, known as our Icon-class, which are expected to enter service in 2022, 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises is positioned within the premium segment of the cruise vacation industry. Celebrity Cruises’ strategy is to target affluent consumers by delivering a destination-rich, modern luxury experience on upscale ships that offer, among other things, luxurious accommodations, refined design-forward spaces, high-standard service and fine dining. Celebrity Cruises offers a range of itineraries to destinations, including Alaska, Asia, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, India, New Zealand, the Panama Canal and South America, with cruise lengths ranging from two to 19 nights.
Celebrity Cruises operates 14 ships with an aggregate capacity of approximately 26,220 berths, including the brand's newest ship designed for the Galapagos Islands, Celebrity Flora, which entered service in the second quarter of 2019. Additionally, as of December 31, 2019, we have three ships on order with an aggregate capacity of approximately 9,400 berths. These ships consist of three Edge-class ships, which are expected to enter service in the second quarter of 2020 and the fourth quarters of 2021 and 2022, respectively.
Azamara
Azamara is designed to serve the up-market segment of the North American, United Kingdom and Australian markets. The up-market segment incorporates elements of the premium segment and the luxury segment, which is generally characterized by smaller ships, high standards of accommodation and service and exotic itineraries. Azamara's strategy is to deliver distinctive destination experiences through unique itineraries with more overnights and longer stays as well as comprehensive tours allowing guests to experience the destination in more depth. These destination experiences include over 1,700 pre and post-voyage land programs. Azamara offers a variety of itineraries to popular destinations, including Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Northern and Western Europe, the Mediterranean, and South America with cruise lengths ranging from three to 26 nights.
Azamara operates three ships with an aggregate capacity of approximately 2,100 berths.
Silversea Cruises
On July 31, 2018, we acquired a 66.7% equity stake in Silversea Cruise Holding Ltd. ("Silversea Cruises"), an ultra-luxury and expedition cruise line. Silversea Cruises, formed in the early 1990's, is positioned as a luxury cruise line with smaller ships, high standards of accommodations, fine dining, personalized service and exotic itineraries. Silversea Cruises delivers distinctive destination experiences by visiting unique and remote destinations, including the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica and the Arctic.
Silversea Cruises operates eight ships, with an aggregate capacity of approximately 2,450 berths offering cruise itineraries generally ranging from six to 25 nights. As of December 31, 2019, Silversea Cruises has five ships on order with an aggregate capacity of approximately 2,400 berths. Two ships are scheduled to enter service in the third quarter of 2020, another in the third quarter of 2021, with the remaining two ships scheduled to enter service in the first quarters of 2022 and 2023.
Our Partner Brands
Our Global Brands are complemented by our 50% joint venture interest in TUI Cruises, which is specifically tailored for the German market and our 49% interest in the Spanish brand Pullmantur, which is primarily focused on the Spanish and Latin American cruise markets. We account for our investments in our Partner Brands under the equity method of accounting and, accordingly, the operating results of these Partner Brands are not included in our consolidated results of operations. Refer to Note 1. General and Note 8. Other Assets to our consolidated financial statements under Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further details.
3

TUI Cruises
TUI Cruises is a joint venture owned 50% by us and 50% by TUI AG, a German tourism company, which is designed to serve the contemporary and premium segments of the German cruise market by offering a product tailored for German guests. All onboard activities, services, shore excursions and menu offerings are designed to suit the preferences of this target market.
TUI Cruises operates seven ships, with an aggregate capacity of approximately 17,600 berths as of December 31, 2019, including the brand's newest ship, Mein Schiff 2, which entered service in January 2019. Additionally, TUI Cruises has three ships on order with an aggregate capacity of approximately 11,100 berths, that are scheduled to enter service in the second quarter of 2023, the third quarter of 2024 and the first quarter of 2026, respectively. On February 7, 2020, TUI Cruises entered into an agreement to acquire Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, a luxury and expedition brand for German-speaking guests, from TUI AG. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises operates two luxury liners and three smaller expedition ships. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.
Pullmantur
The Pullmantur brand is a joint venture owned 49% by us and 51% by Cruises Investment Holdings S.A., an affiliate of Springwater Capital LLC. Pullmantur operates in the contemporary segment of the Spanish and Latin American cruise markets and is designed to attract Spanish-speaking families and couples and includes Spanish-speaking crew, as well as tailored food and entertainment options. The three ships operated by Pullmantur have an aggregate capacity of approximately 6,050 berths. Zenith was sold to a third party in January 2020. To offset the decrease in capacity to the Pullmantur brand, commencing in the second quarter of 2021, we expect to charter Grandeur of the Seas to Pullmantur.
Industry
Cruising is considered a well-established vacation sector in the North American, European and Australian markets and a developing sector in several other emerging markets. Industry data indicates that market penetration rates are still low and that a significant portion of cruise guests carried are first-time cruisers. We believe this presents an opportunity for long-term growth and a potential for increased profitability.
The following table details industry market penetration rates for North America, Europe and Asia/Pacific computed based on the number of annual cruise guests as a percentage of the total population:
Year
North America(1)(2)
Europe(1)(3)
Asia/Pacific(1)(4)
20153.36%  1.25%  0.08%  
20163.43%  1.23%  0.11%  
20173.56%  1.28%  0.15%  
20183.87%  1.38%  0.16%  
20193.89%  1.41%  0.20%  
___________________________________________________________________
(1)Source: Our estimates are based on a combination of data obtained from publicly available sources including the International Monetary Fund, United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Cruise Lines International Association ("CLIA") and G.P. Wild. In addition, our estimates incorporate our own analysis utilizing the same publicly available cruise industry data as a base.
(2)Our estimates include the United States and Canada.
(3)Our estimates include European countries relevant to the industry (most notably: the Nordics, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom).
(4)Our estimates include Southeast Asia (most notably: Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines), East Asia (most notably: China and Japan), South Asia (most notably: India) and Oceania (most notably: Australia and New Zealand) regions.
We estimate that the global cruise fleet was served by a weighted average of approximately 579,000 berths during 2019 with approximately 354 ships at the end of 2019. As of December 31, 2019, there were approximately
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67 ships with an estimated 159,000 berths that are expected to be placed in service in the global cruise market through 2024, although it is also possible that ships could be ordered or taken out of service during these periods. We estimate that the global cruise industry carried approximately 30.0 million cruise guests in 2019 compared to approximately 28.5 million cruise guests carried in 2018 and approximately 26.7 million cruise guests carried in 2017.
The following table details the growth in global weighted average berths and the global, North American, European and Asia/Pacific cruise guests over the past five years (in thousands, except berth data):
Year
Weighted-Average
Supply of
Berths
Marketed
Globally(1)
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Total Berths(2)
Global
Cruise
Guests(1)
North American Cruise Guests(1)(3)
European Cruise Guests(1)(4)
Asia/Pacific Cruise Guests(1)(5)
2015469,000  112,700  23,000  12,004  6,587  3,129  
2016493,000  123,270  24,000  12,274  6,512  4,466  
2017515,000  124,070  26,700  12,865  6,779  5,415  
2018546,000  135,520  28,500  14,062  7,343  5,685  
2019579,000  141,570  30,000  14,246  7,554  7,317  
___________________________________________________________________
(1)Source: Our estimates of the number of global cruise guests and the weighted-average supply of berths marketed globally are based on a combination of data that we obtain from various publicly available cruise industry trade information sources. We use data obtained from Seatrade Insider, Cruise Industry News and company press releases to estimate weighted-average supply of berths and CLIA and G.P. Wild to estimate cruise guest information. In addition, our estimates incorporate our own analysis utilizing the same publicly available cruise industry data as a base.
(2)Total berths include our berths related to our Global Brands and Partner Brands.
(3)Our estimates include the United States and Canada.
(4)Our estimates include European countries relevant to the industry (most notably: the Nordics, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom).
(5)Our estimates include Southeast Asia (most notably: Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines), East Asia (most notably: China and Japan), South Asia (most notably: India) and Oceania (most notably: Australia and New Zealand) regions.
North America
Industry cruise guests are primarily sourced from North America, which represented approximately 47% of global cruise guests in 2019. The compound annual growth rate in cruise guests sourced from this market was approximately 4% from 2015 to 2019.
Europe
Industry cruise guests sourced from Europe represented approximately 25% of global cruise guests in 2019. The compound annual growth rate in cruise guests sourced from this market was approximately 3% from 2015 to 2019.
Asia/Pacific
Industry cruise guests sourced from the Asia/Pacific region represented approximately 24% of global cruise guests in 2019. The compound annual growth rate in cruise guests sourced from this market was approximately 24% from 2015 to 2019. The recent coronavirus outbreak and the resulting measures taken by China and other countries to move aggressively to contain the disease, including travel restrictions, have resulted in the cancellation of several of our cruises in Southeast Asia and modification of several itineraries in the region. In addition, we have imposed several measures to protect our guests and crew, including denying boarding to those that have traveled from, to or through mainland China or Hong Kong. See Outlook for further discussion.

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Competition
We compete with a number of cruise lines. Our principal competitors are Carnival Corporation & plc, which owns, among others, Aida Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Seabourn; Disney Cruise Line; MSC Cruises; and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, which owns Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Cruise lines also compete with other vacation alternatives such as land-based resort hotels, Internet-based alternative lodging sites and sightseeing destinations for consumers’ leisure time. Interest for such activities is influenced by political and general economic conditions. Companies within the vacation market are dependent on consumer discretionary spending.
Operating Strategies
Our strategic emphasis on People, Profits and Planet has led us to focus on the following principal operating strategies:
Protect the health, safety and security of our guests and employees,
protect the environment in which our vessels and organization operate,
invest in our workforce in order to better serve our global guest base and grow our business, and promote gender equality, diversity and inclusion,
strengthen our consumer engagement in order to enhance our revenues,
increase the awareness and market penetration of our brands globally,
focus on cost efficiency, manage our operating expenditures and ensure adequate cash and liquidity, with the overall goal of maximizing our return on invested capital and long-term shareholder value,
strategically invest in our fleet through the upgrade and maintenance of existing ships and the transfer of key innovations, while prudently expanding our fleet with new state-of-the-art cruise ships,
capitalize on the portability and flexibility of our ships by deploying them into those markets and itineraries that provide opportunities to optimize returns, while continuing our focus on existing key markets,
provide extraordinary destination experiences and state-of-the-art port facilities to our guests,
continue to integrate digital technological capabilities, data analytics and artificial intelligence into our operations to service customer preferences and expectations in an innovative manner, create efficiencies and enhance employee satisfaction, and
maintain strong relationships with travel agencies, which continue to be the principal industry distribution channel, while enhancing our consumer outreach programs.
Safety and health policies
We are committed to protecting the health, safety and security of our guests, employees and others working on our behalf. Our efforts in these areas are managed by our dedicated Safety, Security, Environment, Medical and Public Health Department which is responsible for all of our maritime safety, global security, environmental stewardship and medical/public health activities; overseen by the Safety, Environment and Health Committee of our board of directors and informed by a Maritime Advisory Board of experts.
Protect the environment
We are focused on the environmental health of the marine environment and communities in which we operate. This includes reducing our carbon footprint through the energy and carbon efficiencies included in the design of our new capacity, our ongoing energy management program on our existing fleet and the development of new technologies.
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Our long-term partnership with the World Wildlife Fund focuses on greenhouse gas reduction strategies, sustainable food supplies, sustainable destinations and guest education on ocean conservation issues, including climate change, which supports onboard conservation efforts such as our reduced use of plastics and increased sourcing of sustainable seafood. We are also committed to water quality and management projects onboard and in the communities in which we operate.
We believe in transparent reporting on our environmental and sustainability stewardship, as well as our corporate governance efforts, and annually publish a Sustainability Report. This report, which is accessible on our corporate website, highlights our progress with regards to those environmental and social aspects of our business that we believe are most significant to our organization and stakeholders. In addition to providing an overview, the report complies with the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative to ensure the report is as complete and accurate as possible. Our corporate website also provides information about our environmental performance goals and sustainability initiatives. The foregoing information contained on our website is not part of any of these reports and is not incorporated by reference herein or in any other report or document we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Investing in our workforce and promoting gender equality, diversity and inclusion
We believe that our employees, both shipboard and shoreside, are a critical success factor for our business. We strive to identify, hire, develop, motivate and retain the best employees, who provide our guests with extraordinary vacations. Our ability to attract, engage, and retain key employees has been and will remain critical to our success.
We focus on providing our employees with a competitive compensation structure, development opportunities, and other personal and professional growth opportunities in order to strengthen and support our human capital. We also select, develop and have strategies to retain high performing leaders to advance the enterprise now and in the future. To that end, we pay special attention to identifying high performing potential leaders and developing bench strength so these leaders can assume leadership roles throughout the organization.
We strive to maintain a work environment that reinforces collaboration, motivation and innovation, and believe that maintaining a strong employee-focused culture is beneficial to the growth and expansion of our business. We support the equal representation of women in all levels. We foster diversity and inclusion among our broad employee base.
Consumer engagement
We place a strong focus on identifying the needs of our guests and creating product features and innovations that our customers value. We are focused on targeting high-value guests by better understanding consumer data and insights to create communication strategies that resonate with our target audiences.
We target customers across all touch points and identify underlying needs for which guests are willing to pay a premium. We rely on various programs and technologies during the cruise-planning, cruising and after-cruise periods aimed at increasing ticket prices, onboard revenues and occupancy. We have and continue to strategically invest in onboard projects on our ships that we believe drive marketability, profitability and improve the guest experience.
Global awareness and market penetration
We increase brand awareness and market penetration of our cruise brands in various ways, including the use of communication strategies and marketing campaigns designed to emphasize the qualities of each brand and to broaden the awareness of the brand, especially among target groups. Our marketing strategies include the use of travel agencies, traditional media, mobile and digital media as well as social media, influencers and brand websites. Our brands engage past and potential guests by collaborating with travel partners and through call centers, international offices and international representatives. In addition, our Global Brands target repeat guests with exclusive benefits offered through their respective loyalty programs.
We sell and market our Global Brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea Cruises, to guests outside of the United States and Canada through the combined efforts of internationally focused internal resources and a network of approximately 80 independent international representatives located throughout the world covering more than 183 countries. Historically, our focus has been to primarily source guests
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for our Global Brands from North America. We continue to expand our focus on selling and marketing our cruise brands to guests in countries outside of North America by tailoring itineraries and onboard product offerings to the cultural characteristics and preferences of our international guests. In addition, we explore opportunities that may arise to acquire or develop brands tailored to specific markets.
Passenger ticket revenues generated by sales originating in countries outside of the United States were approximately 38% of total passenger ticket revenues in 2019, 39% in 2018 and 41% in 2017. International guests have grown from approximately 2.5 million in 2015 to approximately 2.6 million in 2019. Refer to Item 1A. Risk Factors - “Conducting business globally may result in increased costs and other risks” for a discussion of the risks associated with our international operations.
Cost efficiency, operating expenditures and adequate cash and liquidity
We have adopted a number of strategies to control our operating costs and will continue to do so in 2020. For example, we have adopted numerous initiatives to reduce energy consumption and, by extension, fuel costs. These include the design of more energy-efficient ships as well as the implementation of more efficient hardware, including improvements in operations and voyage planning as well as improvements to the propulsion, machinery, HVAC and lighting systems. The overall impact of these efforts has resulted in an approximate 35% improvement in energy efficiency from 2005 through 2019 and we believe that our energy consumption per guest is currently the lowest in the cruise industry. In order to sustain our competitive advantage, we will continue to seek to lead with innovative technologies and commit to achieve our short and long-term sustainability goals.
We are focused on maintaining a strong liquidity position, investment grade credit metrics and a balanced debt maturity profile. We believe these strategies enhance our ability to achieve our overall goal of maximizing our long-term shareholder value.
Fleet upgrade, maintenance and expansion
We place a strong focus on innovation, which we seek to achieve by introducing new concepts on our new ships and continuously making improvements to our fleet through modernization projects. Several of these innovations have become signature elements of our brands. For the Royal Caribbean International brand, we introduced the “Royal Promenade” (a boulevard with shopping, dining and entertainment venues) and interior balconies on the Oasis class ships and a two-level family suite on Symphony of the Seas. For the Celebrity Cruises brand, we enhanced many of the brand's design features through the introduction of the Solstice class ships. More recently, with the introduction of Celebrity Edge, we introduced the "Magic Carpet" (a cantilevered, floating platform that reaches a height of 13 stories above sea level and can serve as a dining venue, full bar and platform for live music) and newly designed staterooms with an "Infinite Veranda" where, with the touch of a button, the veranda becomes part of the entire living space.
In 2018, the Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises brands announced the "Royal Amplified" and "Celebrity Revolution" modernization programs to upgrade vessels across their fleet. As part of these modernization programs, we incorporate certain innovations included in our newer ships to some of the ships in the remaining fleet. The process of integrating some of our latest innovations into our older vessels allows us to create a greater level of consistency of product across our fleet.
As part of the newbuild and modernization programs, we also seek to bring innovations in the areas of safety, reliability and energy efficiency to our fleet.
We are committed to building state-of-the-art ships at a moderate growth rate and we believe our success in this area provides us with a competitive advantage. Our newer vessels traditionally generate higher revenue yield premiums and are more efficient to operate than older vessels.
As of December 31, 2019, our Global Brands and Partner Brands have 17 ships on order. Refer to the Operations section below for further information on our ships on order.
In addition, we regularly evaluate opportunities to order new ships, purchase existing ships or sell ships in our current fleet while ensuring that we remain focused on the returns we generate on invested capital and maintaining a high level of discipline on capital spending and operating leverage. In the current environment of high industry
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demand, we have placed new ship orders earlier than we have historically done as well as more aggressively sought to sell older capacity.
Markets and itineraries
In an effort to penetrate untapped markets, diversify our consumer base and respond to changing economic and geopolitical market conditions, we continue to seek opportunities to deploy ships to new and stronger markets and itineraries throughout the world. The portability of our ships allows us to deploy our ships to meet demand within our existing cruise markets. We make deployment decisions generally 18 to 28 months in advance, with the goal of optimizing the overall profitability of our portfolio. Additionally, the infrastructure investments we have made to create a flexible global sourcing model have made our brands relevant in a number of markets around the world, which allows us to be opportunistic and source the highest yielding guests for our itineraries.
Our ships offer a wide selection of itineraries that call on more than 1,000 destinations in 126 countries, spanning all seven continents. We are focused on obtaining the best possible long-term shareholder returns by operating in established markets while growing our presence in developing markets. New capacity allows us to expand into new markets and itineraries. Our brands have expanded their mix of itineraries while strengthening our ability to further penetrate the Asian and Australian markets. The acquisition of Silversea Cruises added more than 500 new destinations allowing us to expand and enhance our selection of exotic itineraries.
Destination experiences and port facilities
Additionally, in order to provide unique destination experiences to our guests, we are investing in our private land destinations. For instance, in 2018, we announced Perfect Day Island Collection, an initiative to develop a series of private island destinations around the world. The first island in the collection, Perfect Day at CocoCay, opened in Spring 2019 and includes a wide range of attractions, such as a water park, zip line and wave and freshwater pool. The second island in the collection, Perfect Day at Lelepa, is scheduled to open in 2022 and will offer its own unique experience. In 2019, we also announced the launch of a Royal Beach Club initiative to bring the unique features and cultures of each destination to life. The first will be Royal Beach Club in Antigua, launching 2021.
In an effort to secure desirable berthing facilities for our ships, and to provide new or enhanced cruise destinations for our guests, we actively assist or invest in the development or enhancement of certain port facilities and infrastructure, including mixed-use commercial properties, located in strategic ports of call. For instance, a new homeport cruise terminal of approximately 170,000 square feet was completed at PortMiami in Miami, Florida in 2018 and we are building a new homeport cruise terminal in Galveston, Texas of approximately 140,000 square feet to be completed in 2021.
Generally, we collaborate with local, private or governmental entities by providing management and/or financial assistance and often enter into long-term port usage arrangements. Our participation in these efforts is generally accomplished via investments with the relevant government authority and/or various other strategic partnerships established to develop and/or operate the port facilities, by providing direct development and management expertise or in certain limited circumstances, by providing direct or indirect financial support. In exchange for our involvement, we generally secure preferential berthing rights for our ships.
Technological capabilities
Technology is a pervasive part of virtually every business process we use to support our strategic focus and provide a quality experience to our customers before, during and after their cruise.
In past years, we have continued to integrate digital capabilities into our operations and have increased our focus in bringing in data analytics and artificial intelligence into our processes. For example, we have continued the deployment of our innovative guest journey solutions across our fleet from online check-in to port embarkation to onboard cruise experience. At the same time, we are investing in shipboard operational technology to facilitate casino play, hotel maintenance, as well as the optimization of marine maintenance. In concert with our destination focus, our island technology solutions are now enabling our guests to remain connected with WiFi access, order food and beverage as well as take advantage of all the island based activities with the same ease as onboard our ships.
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Investments in our core platforms, as well as the trade and direct distribution channels, are delivering the benefit of more modernized solutions with scalability and faster self-service response times while also deploying new features such as flight packages and additional promotional offer capabilities.
Cyber security and data privacy are an ongoing focus, and we have made and will continue to make investments to protect our customer data, intellectual property and global operations.
Travel agency support and consumer outreach
Travel agencies continue to be the primary source of ticket sales for our ships. We believe in the value of this distribution channel and invest in maintaining strong relationships with our travel partners. To accomplish this goal, we seek to ensure that our commission rates and incentive structures remain competitive with the marketplace. We continuously work with travel agencies to sell upgrades and add-ons such as air and pre-cruise purchases to improve the retention and profitability of the channel. We provide brand dedicated sales representatives who serve as consultants to our travel partners. We also provide trained customer service representatives, call centers and online training tools.
In addition, we continue to operate our Consumer Outreach department, which provides consumers 24-hour access to our vacation planners and customer service agents in our call centers. In addition, we maintain and invest in our websites, including mobile applications and mobile websites. We enable our guests to communicate and book with us through various channels such as phone, web, chat, text message, and/or email.
We also have a robust Onboard Cruise Sales department to help guests to book their next cruise vacations while onboard our ships.
Guest Services
We offer to handle virtually all travel aspects related to guest reservations and transportation, including arranging guest pre- and post-hotel stay arrangements and air transportation.
Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea Cruises offer recognition and status upgrades to their guests through their loyalty programs, Crown & Anchor Society, Captain’s Club, Le Club Voyage and Venetian Society, respectively, to encourage repeat business. Crown & Anchor Society has approximately 16 million members worldwide. Captain’s Club, Le Club Voyage and Venetian Society have approximately 4.8 million members combined worldwide. Members are recognized through increasing membership status by accumulating cruise points or credits, depending on the brand, which may be redeemed on future sailings. Members are awarded points or credits in proportion to the number of cruise days and stateroom category. The loyalty programs provide tiers of membership benefits which entitle guests to upgraded experiences and recognition relative to the status achieved once the guests have accumulated the number of cruise points or credits specified for each tier. In addition, upon achieving a certain level of cruise points or credits, members benefit from reciprocal membership benefits across all of our loyalty programs. Examples of the benefits available under our loyalty programs include, but are not limited to, priority ship embarkation, priority waitlist for shore excursions, complimentary laundry service, complimentary Internet, booklets with onboard discount offers, upgraded bathroom amenities, private seating on the pool deck, ship tours and, in the case of our most loyal guests who have achieved the highest levels of cruise points or credits, complimentary cruise days. We regularly work to enhance each of our loyalty programs by adding new features and amenities in order to reward our repeat guests.
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Operations
Cruise Ships and Itineraries
As of December 31, 2019, our Global Brands and Partner Brands collectively operated 61 ships with a selection of worldwide itineraries that call on more than 1,000 destinations.
The following table presents summary information concerning the ships we expect to operate in 2020 under our Global Brands and Partner Brands and their geographic areas of operation based on current 2020 itineraries (subject to change).
ShipYear Ship
Built
Year Ship
Entered/Will Enter Service(1)
Approximate
Berths
Primary Areas of Operation
Royal Caribbean International
Odyssey of the Seas202020204,200  Eastern/Western Caribbean
Spectrum of the Seas201920194,250  Eastern Asia
Symphony of the Seas201820185,500  Eastern/Western Caribbean
Harmony of the Seas201620165,450  Eastern/Western Caribbean
Ovation of the Seas201620164,100  Australia, Alaska
Anthem of the Seas201520154,100  Southern Caribbean, Bahamas, Europe
Quantum of the Seas201420144,150  Eastern Asia
Allure of the Seas201020105,450  Eastern/Western Caribbean, Europe
Oasis of the Seas200920095,650  Eastern/Western Caribbean, Bahamas
Independence of the Seas200820083,850  Western Caribbean, Bahamas
Liberty of the Seas200720073,750  Western Caribbean
Freedom of the Seas200620063,750  Southern Caribbean
Jewel of the Seas200420042,150  Western Caribbean, Europe, Middle East
Mariner of the Seas200320033,300  Bahamas
Serenade of the Seas200320032,100  Southern Caribbean, Alaska, Australia
Navigator of the Seas200220023,350  Bahamas
Brilliance of the Seas200220022,100  Western Caribbean, Europe, Canada
Adventure of the Seas200120013,300  Eastern/Western Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada
Radiance of the Seas200120012,100  Australia, Alaska
Explorer of the Seas200020003,250  Europe, Western/Southern Caribbean
Voyager of the Seas199919993,400  Eastern Asia, Australia
Vision of the Seas199819982,000  Southern Caribbean, Europe, Canada
Enchantment of the Seas199719972,250  Southern/Western Caribbean, Bahamas
Rhapsody of the Seas199719972,000  Western Caribbean, Europe
Grandeur of the Seas(2)
199619961,950  Bahamas, Southern Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada
Majesty of the Seas199219922,350  Western Caribbean, Bahamas
Empress of the Seas199020161,550  Eastern/Western Caribbean, Canada, Bermuda
Celebrity Cruises     
Celebrity Apex202020202,900  Europe, Eastern/Western Caribbean
Celebrity Flora20192019100  Galapagos Islands
Celebrity Edge201820182,900  Eastern/Western Caribbean, Europe
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ShipYear Ship
Built
Year Ship
Entered/Will Enter Service(1)
Approximate
Berths
Primary Areas of Operation
Celebrity Reflection201220123,000  Southern Caribbean, Europe
Celebrity Silhouette201120112,850  Southern Caribbean, Europe
Celebrity Eclipse201020102,850  South America, Alaska
Celebrity Equinox200920092,850  Eastern/Western Caribbean
Celebrity Solstice200820082,850  Australia, Alaska
Celebrity Xploration2007201620  Galapagos Islands
Celebrity Constellation200220022,150  Middle East, India, Europe, Caribbean
Celebrity Summit200120012,200  Southern Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada
Celebrity Infinity200120012,150  Western Caribbean, Bahamas, Europe
Celebrity Xpedition2001200450  Galapagos Islands
Celebrity Millennium200020002,200  Eastern Asia, Alaska
Celebrity Xperience1982201650  Galapagos Islands
Azamara
Azamara Pursuit20012018700  South America, Europe
Azamara Quest20002007700  Australia, Asia, Alaska
Azamara Journey20002007700  Europe
Silversea Cruises(3)
Silver Origin20202020100  Galapagos Islands
Silver Moon20202020550  Europe, Caribbean
Silver Muse20172017550  Australia, Asia, Alaska
Silver Spirit20092009500  Southern Caribbean, Europe, Asia
Silver Whisper20012001350  Southern Caribbean, Europe
Silver Shadow20002000350  Asia, Europe, Southern Caribbean
Silver Wind19951995250  Southern Caribbean, Europe, Canada
Silver Cloud19941994250  South America, Europe
Silver Galapagos19902013100  Galapagos Islands
Silver Explorer19892008100  South America, Europe
Pullmantur(4)
Monarch199120132,350  Southern Caribbean
Horizon199020101,400  Middle East, Europe
Sovereign198820082,300  South America, Europe
TUI Cruises
Mein Schiff 2(5)
201920192,900  Europe, Southern Caribbean
Mein Schiff 1201820182,850  Europe, Canada, Western Caribbean
Mein Schiff 6201720172,500  Western Caribbean, Europe, Asia
Mein Schiff 5201620162,500  Southern Caribbean, Europe, Middle East
Mein Schiff 4201520152,500  Middle East, Europe
Mein Schiff 3201420142,500  Asia, Europe
Mein Schiff Herz199720111,850  Europe
Total149,320  
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(1)The year a ship entered service refers to the year in which the ship commenced or is expected to commence cruise revenue operations for the brand.
(2)Commencing in the second quarter of 2021, Grandeur of the Seas is planned to no longer operate under the Royal Caribbean International brand and we expect to lease the ship to Pullmantur.
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(3)During 2019, the lease for Discover was terminated.
(4)In January 2020, we sold Zenith to a third party.
(5)TUI Cruises' newbuild entered service as Mein Schiff 2 in February 2019 and the existing Mein Schiff 2 was renamed Mein Schiff Herz.
As of December 31, 2019, our Global Brands and our Partner Brands have 17 ships on order. Three ships on order are being built in Germany by Meyer Werft GmbH, four are being built in Finland by Meyer Turku shipyard, five are being built in France by Chantiers de l’Atlantique (formerly known as STX France), four are being built in Italy by Fincantieri and one is being built in the Netherlands by De Hoop Lobith. As of December 31, 2019, the expected dates that the ships on order will enter service, subject to change in the event of construction delays, and their approximate berths are as follows:
ShipShipyard
Expected to Enter
Service
Approximate
Berths
Royal Caribbean International —  
Oasis-class:  
Wonder of the SeasChantiers de l’Atlantique2nd Quarter 20215,700  
   UnnamedChantiers de l’Atlantique4th Quarter 20235,700  
Quantum-class:  
Odyssey of the SeasMeyer Werft4th Quarter 20204,200  
Icon-class:
UnnamedMeyer Turku Oy2nd Quarter 20225,600  
UnnamedMeyer Turku Oy2nd Quarter 20245,600  
UnnamedMeyer Turku Oy2nd Quarter 20255,600  
Celebrity Cruises —
Edge-class:
Celebrity ApexChantiers de l’Atlantique2nd Quarter 20202,900  
Celebrity BeyondChantiers de l’Atlantique4th Quarter 20213,250  
UnnamedChantiers de l’Atlantique4th Quarter 20223,250  
Silversea Cruises (1)
Silver OriginDe Hoop3rd Quarter 2020100  
Muse-class:
Silver MoonFincantieri3rd Quarter 2020550  
Silver DawnFincantieri3rd Quarter 2021550  
Evolution-class:
UnnamedMeyer Werft1st Quarter 2022600  
UnnamedMeyer Werft1st Quarter 2023600  
TUI Cruises (50% joint venture) —  
Mein Schiff 7Meyer Turku Oy2nd Quarter 20232,900  
UnnamedFincantieri3rd Quarter 20244,100  
UnnamedFincantieri1st Quarter 20264,100  
Total Berths55,300  
__________________________________________________________________
(1)The revenue impact from Silversea Cruises' new ships will be recognized on a three month reporting lag from the "Expected to Enter Service" dates above. Refer to Note 1. General to our consolidated financial statements under Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information.
In addition, as of December 31, 2019, we have an agreement in place with Chantiers de l’Atlantique to build an additional Edge-class ship for delivery in the 4th quarter of 2024, which is contingent upon completion of conditions precedent and financing.

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Seasonality
Our revenues are seasonal based on the demand for cruises. Demand is strongest for cruises during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months and holidays. In order to mitigate the impact of the winter weather in the Northern Hemisphere and to capitalize on the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere, our brands have focused on deployment in the Caribbean, Asia and Australia during that period.
Passengers and Capacity
Selected statistical information is shown in the following table (see Financial Presentation- Description of Certain Line Items and Selected Operational and Financial Metrics under Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, for definitions):
Year Ended December 31,
2019 (1)
2018 (2)
2017
2016 (3)
2015
Passengers Carried6,553,865  6,084,201  5,768,496  5,754,747  5,401,899  
Passenger Cruise Days44,803,953  41,853,052  40,033,527  40,250,557  38,523,060  
Available Passenger Cruise Days (APCD)41,432,451  38,425,304  36,930,939  37,844,644  36,646,639  
Occupancy108.1%  108.9%  108.4%  106.4%  105.1%  
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(1) As a result of the three-month reporting lag, we included Silversea Cruises' results of operations from October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019 for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019. Refer to Note 1. General and Note 3. Business Combination to our consolidated financial statements under Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for more information on the three-month reporting lag and the Silversea Cruises acquisition.
(2) We acquired Silversea Cruises on July 31, 2018 and report their results on a three-month reporting lag. As a result, these amounts include only August and September 2018 amounts for Silversea Cruises. Refer to Note 1. General and Note 3. Business Combination to our consolidated financial statements under Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for more information on the three-month reporting lag and the Silversea Cruises acquisition.
(3) These amounts do not include November and December 2015 amounts for Pullmantur as the net Pullmantur result for those months was included within Other expense in our consolidated statements of comprehensive income (loss) for the year ended December 31, 2016, as a result of the elimination of the Pullmantur two-month reporting lag, and did not affect Gross Yields, Net Yields, Gross Cruise Costs, Net Cruise Costs and Net Cruise Costs Excluding Fuel. Additionally, effective August 2016, following the sale of our 51% interest in Pullmantur Holdings, we no longer include Pullmantur in these amounts.
Cruise Pricing
Our cruise ticket prices include accommodations and a wide variety of activities and amenities, including meals and entertainment. Prices vary depending on many factors including the destination, cruise length, stateroom category selected and the time of year the cruise takes place. Although we grant credit terms in select markets mainly outside of the United States, our payment terms generally require an upfront deposit to confirm a reservation, with the balance due prior to the sailing. Our cruises are generally available for sale at least one year in advance and often more than two years in advance of sailing. During the selling period of a cruise, we continually monitor and adjust our cruise ticket prices for available guest staterooms based on demand, with the objective of maximizing net yields.
As we grow our business globally, our sale arrangements with travel agents may vary. For instance, although our direct business is growing at a rapid pace, sale arrangements through travel agent charter and group sales are proportionately higher in the China market than in our other markets which are primarily through retail agency and direct sales.
We have developed and implemented enhancements to our reservations system that provide us and our travel partners with additional capabilities, making it easier to do business with us. For example, we offer air transportation to our guests through our air transportation program available in major cities around the world.
Passenger ticket revenues accounted for approximately 72% of total revenues in 2019, 2018 and 2017.


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Onboard Activities and Other Revenues
Our cruise brands offer modern fleets with a wide array of onboard services, amenities and activities which vary by brand and ship. While many onboard activities are included in the base price of a cruise, we realize additional revenues from, among other things, gaming, the sale of alcoholic and other beverages, Internet and other telecommunication services, gift shop items, shore excursions, photography, spa/salon and fitness services, art auctions, retail shops and a wide variety of specialty restaurants and dining options. Many of these services are available for pre-booking prior to embarkation. These activities are provided either directly by us or by independent concessionaires from which we receive a percentage of their revenues.
In conjunction with our cruise vacations, we offer pre- and post-cruise hotel packages to our Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea Cruises guests. We also offer cruise vacation protection coverage to guests in a number of markets, which provides guests with coverage for trip cancellation, medical protection and baggage protection. Onboard and other revenues accounted for approximately 28% of total revenues in 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Segment Reporting
We control and operate four cruise brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara, and Silversea Cruises. In addition, we have a 50% investment in a joint venture with TUI AG which operates the German brand TUI Cruises and a 49% interest in the Spanish brand Pullmantur. We believe our brands possess the versatility to enter multiple cruise market segments within the cruise vacation industry. Although each of our brands has its own marketing style as well as ships and crews of various sizes, the nature of the products sold and services delivered by our brands share a common base (i.e., the sale and provision of cruise vacations). Our brands also have similar itineraries as well as similar cost and revenue components. In addition, our brands source passengers from similar markets around the world and operate in similar economic environments with a significant degree of commercial overlap. As a result, our brands have been aggregated as a single reportable segment based on the similarity of their economic characteristics, types of consumers, regulatory environment, maintenance requirements, supporting systems and processes as well as products and services provided. Our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer has been identified as the chief operating decision-maker and all significant operating decisions including the allocation of resources are based upon the analyses of the Company as one segment. (For financial information, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.)
Employees
As of December 31, 2019, our Global Brands employed approximately 85,400 employees, including 77,000 shipboard employees as well as 8,200 full-time and 100 part-time employees in our shoreside operations. As of December 31, 2019, approximately 89% of our shipboard employees were covered by collective bargaining agreements.
Insurance
We maintain insurance on the hull and machinery of our ships, with insured values generally equal to the net book value of each ship. This coverage is maintained with reputable insurance underwriters from the British, Scandinavian, French, United States and other reputable international insurance markets.
We are members of four Protection and Indemnity ("P&I") clubs, which are part of a worldwide group of 13 P&I clubs, known as the International Group of P&I Clubs (the “IG”). Liabilities, costs and expenses for illness and injury to crew, guest injury, pollution and other third-party claims in connection with our cruise activities are covered by our P&I clubs, subject to the clubs’ rules and the limits of coverage determined by the IG. P&I coverage provided by the clubs is on a mutual basis and we are subject to additional premium calls in the event of a catastrophic loss incurred by any member of the 13 P&I clubs, whereby the reinsurance limits purchased by the IG are exhausted. We are also subject to additional premium calls based on investment and underwriting shortfalls experienced by our own individual insurers.
We maintain war risk insurance for legal liability to crew, guests and other third parties as well as for loss or damage to our vessels arising from acts of war, including invasion, insurrection, terrorism, rebellion, piracy and
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hijacking. Our primary war risk coverage is provided by a Norwegian war risk insurance association and our excess war risk insurance is provided by our four P&I clubs. Consistent with most marine war risk policies, our coverage is subject to cancellation in the event of a change in risk. In the event of a war between major powers, our primary policies terminate after thirty days’ notice and our excess policies terminate immediately. Our excess policies are also subject to cancellation after a notice period of seven days in the event of other changes in risk. These notice periods allow for premiums to be renegotiated based on changes in risk.
Insurance coverage for other exposures, such as shoreside property and casualty, passenger off-vessel, directors and officers and network security and privacy, are maintained with various global insurance companies.
We do not carry business interruption insurance for our ships based on our evaluation of the risks involved and protective measures already in place, as compared to the cost of insurance.
All insurance coverage is subject to certain limitations, exclusions and deductible levels. In addition, in certain circumstances, we either self-insure or co-insure a portion of these risks. Premiums charged by insurance carriers, including carriers in the maritime insurance industry, increase or decrease from time to time and tend to be cyclical in nature. These cycles are impacted both by our own loss experience and by losses incurred in direct and reinsurance markets. We historically have been able to obtain insurance coverage in amounts and at premiums we have deemed to be commercially acceptable. No assurance can be given that affordable and secure insurance markets will be available to us in the future, particularly for war risk insurance.
Trademarks
We own a number of registered trademarks related to the Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea Cruises cruise brands. The registered trademarks include the name “Royal Caribbean International” and its crown and anchor logo, the name “Celebrity Cruises” and its “X” logo, the name “Azamara” and its "open world" and "star logo", the name “Silversea Cruises” and its logo, and the names of various cruise ships, ship venues and other marketing programs. We believe our largest brands' trademarks are widely recognized throughout the world and have considerable value. The duration of trademark registrations varies from country to country. However, trademarks are generally valid and may be renewed indefinitely as long as they are in use and/or their registrations are properly maintained.
Regulation
Our ships are regulated by various international, national, state and local laws, regulations and treaties in force in the jurisdictions in which they operate. In addition, our ships are registered in the Bahamas, Malta or in the case of our ships operating in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Each ship is subject to regulations issued by its country of registry, including regulations issued pursuant to international treaties governing the safety of our ships, guests and crew as well as environmental protection. Each country of registry conducts periodic inspections to verify compliance with these regulations as discussed more fully below. Ships operating out of ports of call around the world are also subject to inspection by the maritime authorities of that country for compliance with international treaties and local regulations. Additionally, ships operating out of the United States ports are subject to inspection by the United States Coast Guard for compliance with international treaties and by the United States Public Health Service for sanitary and health conditions. Our ships are also subject to similar inspections pursuant to the laws and regulations of various other countries our ships visit.
We believe that we are in material compliance with all the regulations applicable to our ships and that we have all licenses necessary to conduct our business. Health, safety, security, environmental and financial responsibility issues are, and we believe will continue to be, an area of focus by the relevant government authorities in the United States and internationally. From time to time, various regulatory and legislative changes may be proposed that could impact our operations and subject us to increasing compliance costs in the future.
Safety and Security Regulations
Our ships are required to comply with international safety standards defined in the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (“SOLAS”), which, among other things, establishes requirements for ship design, structural features, materials, construction, lifesaving equipment and safe management and operation of ships to ensure guest and crew safety. The SOLAS standards are revised from time to time and changes are incorporated into the
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operation of our ships. Compliance with these modified standards have not historically had a material effect on our operating costs. SOLAS incorporates the International Safety Management Code (“ISM Code”), which provides an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention. The ISM Code is mandatory for all vessels, including passenger vessel operators.
All of our operations and ships are regularly audited by various national authorities, and we are required to maintain the relevant certificates of compliance with the ISM Code.
Our ships are subject to various security requirements, including the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (“ISPS Code”), which is part of SOLAS, and the U.S. Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (“MTSA”), which applies to ships that operate in U.S. ports. In order to satisfy these security requirements, we implement security measures, conduct vessel security assessments, and develop security plans. The security plans for all of our ships have been submitted to and approved by the Recognized Security Organization on behalf of the ships' flag state and are in compliance with the ISPS Code and the MTSA.
The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010, which applies to passenger vessels which embark or include port stops within the United States, requires the implementation of certain safety design features as well as the establishment of practices for the reporting of and dealing with allegations of crime. The cruise industry supported this legislation and we believe that our internal standards are generally as strict or stricter than the law requires. Some provisions of the act call for regulations which have not been finalized. We do not expect the pending regulations will have a material impact to our operations.
Environmental Regulations
We are subject to various international and national laws and regulations relating to environmental protection. Under such laws and regulations, we are generally prohibited from discharging materials other than food waste into the waterways. We have made, and will continue to make, capital and other expenditures to comply with environmental laws and regulations. From time to time, environmental and other regulators consider more stringent regulations, which may affect our operations and increase our compliance costs. We believe that the impact of ships on the global environment will continue to be an area of focus by the relevant authorities throughout the world and, accordingly, may subject us to increasing compliance costs in the future, including the items described below.
Our ships are subject to the International Maritime Organization’s (‘‘IMO’’) regulations under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (the ‘‘MARPOL Regulations’’) and the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments (Ballast Water Management Convention), in addition to other regional and national regulations such as EU Directives and the US Vessel General Permit, which includes requirements designed to minimize pollution by oil, sewage, garbage, air emissions and the transfer of non-native/non-indigenous species. We have obtained the relevant international compliance certificates relating to oil, sewage, air pollution prevention and ballast water for all of our ships.
The MARPOL Regulations imposed reduced global limitations on the sulfur content of emissions emitted by ships operating worldwide to 0.5% as of January 1, 2020, which was reduced from 3.5%. We do not expect that this increased limitation will have a material impact to our results of operations largely due to a number of mitigating steps we have taken over the last several years, including equipping all of our new ships delivered during or after 2014 with advanced emissions purification ("AEP") systems covering all engines and actively developing and installing AEP systems on the majority of our remaining fleet.
The MARPOL Regulations also establish special Emission Control Areas (‘‘ECAs’’) with additional stringent limitations on sulfur emissions in these areas. There are four established ECAs that restrict sulfur emissions: the Baltic Sea, the North Sea/English Channel, certain waters surrounding the North American coast, and the waters surrounding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (the “Caribbean ECA”). Ships operating in these sulfur ECAs have been required to reduce their emissions sulfur content to 0.1%. This reduction has not had a significant impact on our results of operations to date due to the mitigating steps described above.
We continue to implement our AEP system strategy for both our ships on order and our existing fleet. As our new ships are delivered and additional existing ships are retrofitted with AEP systems, they will provide us with additional operational and deployment flexibility.
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Additionally, all new ships operating within the North American and U.S. Caribbean Sea ECA that began construction after January 1, 2016 are required to meet more stringent nitrogen oxide emission limits. We comply with these rules for those relevant ships in service. As an added measure, all of our ships under construction are being built to comply with these rules. The rules have not had and are not expected to have a significant impact to our operations or costs.
Effective July 1, 2015, the European Commission adopted legislation that requires cruise ship operators with ships visiting ports in the European Union to monitor and report on the ship’s annual carbon dioxide emissions starting in 2018. Additionally, in 2019, the IMO's monitoring and reporting system (IMO data and collection system), which is applicable to all ship itineraries, entered into force. While compliance with these regulations did not materially impact our costs or results of operations, the legislations contemplate further obligations and restrictions which could ultimately result in additional costs or charges associated with carbon dioxide emissions.
The IMO Ballast Water Management Convention, which came in effect in 2017, requires ships that carry and discharge ballast water to meet specific discharge standards by installing Ballast Water Treatment Systems by 2023. Compliance with this regulation has not had a material effect on our results of operations and we do not expect the continuing compliance with this regulation to have a material effect on our results of operations.
Refer to Item 1A. Risk Factors - "Environmental, labor, health and safety, financial responsibility and other maritime regulations could affect operations and increase costs" for further discussion of the risks associated with the regulations discussed above.
Consumer Financial Responsibility Regulations
We are required to obtain certificates from the United States Federal Maritime Commission relating to our ability to satisfy liability in cases of non-performance of obligations to guests, as well as casualty and personal injury. As a condition to obtaining the required certificates, we generally arrange through our insurers for the provision of surety for our ship-operating companies. The required amount is currently $32.0 million per operator and is subject to additional consumer price index based adjustments.
We are also required by the United Kingdom, Norway, Finland and the Baltics to establish our financial responsibility for any liability resulting from the non-performance of our obligations to guests from these jurisdictions. In the United Kingdom we are currently required by the Association of British Travel Agents to provide performance bonds totaling approximately £82 million. Additionally, we were required by the Civil Aviation Authority to provide performance bonds totaling £8 million. The Norwegian Travel Guarantee Fund requires us to maintain performance bonds in varying amounts during the course of the year to cover our financial responsibility in Norway, Finland and the Baltics. These amounts ranged from NOK 32 million to NOK 57 million during 2019.
Certain other jurisdictions also require that we establish financial responsibility to our guests resulting from the non-performance of our obligations; however, the related amounts do not have a material effect on our costs.
Taxation of the Company
The following is a summary of our principal taxes, exemptions and special regimes. In addition to or instead of income taxation, virtually all jurisdictions where our ships call impose some tax or fee, or both, based on guest headcount, tonnage or some other measure. We also collect and remit value added tax (VAT) or sales tax in many jurisdictions where we operate.
Our consolidated operations are primarily foreign corporations engaged in the owning and operating of passenger cruise ships in international transportation.
U.S. Income Taxation
The following is a discussion of the application of the U.S. federal and state income tax laws to us and is based on the current provisions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, Treasury Department regulations, administrative rulings, court decisions and the relevant state tax laws, regulations, rulings and court decisions of the states where we have business operations. All of the foregoing is subject to change, and any such change could affect the accuracy of this discussion.
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Application of Section 883 of the Internal Revenue Code
We, Celebrity Cruises, Inc. and Silversea Cruises Ltd. are engaged in a trade or business in the United States, and many of our ship-owning subsidiaries, depending upon the itineraries of their ships, receive income from sources within the United States. Additionally, our United Kingdom tonnage tax company is a ship-operating company classified as a disregarded entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes that may earn U.S. source income. Under Section 883 of the Internal Revenue Code, certain foreign corporations may exclude from gross income (and effectively from branch profits tax as such earnings do not give rise to effectively connected earnings and profits) U.S. source income derived from or incidental to the international operation of a ship or ships, including income from the leasing of such ships.
A foreign corporation will qualify for the benefits of Section 883 if, in relevant part: (1) the foreign country in which the foreign corporation is organized grants an equivalent exemption to corporations organized in the United States; and (2) the stock of the corporation (or the direct or indirect corporate parent thereof) is “primarily and regularly traded on an established securities market” in the United States. In the opinion of our U.S. tax counsel, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, based on the representations and assumptions set forth in that opinion, we, Celebrity Cruises Inc., Silversea Cruises Ltd. and relevant ship-owning subsidiaries with U.S. source shipping income qualify for the benefits of Section 883 because we and each of those subsidiaries are incorporated in Liberia or Bahamas, which are qualifying countries, and our common stock is primarily and regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States (i.e., we are a "publicly traded" corporation). If, in the future, (1) Liberia or Bahamas no longer qualify as equivalent exemption jurisdictions, and we do not reincorporate in a jurisdiction that does qualify for the exemption, or (2) we fail to qualify as a publicly traded corporation, we and all of our ship-owning or operating subsidiaries that rely on Section 883 to exclude qualifying income from gross income would be subject to U.S. federal income tax on their U.S. source shipping income and income from activities incidental thereto.
We believe that most of our income and the income of our ship-owning subsidiaries, including our U.K. tonnage tax company which is considered a division for U.S. tax purposes, is derived from or incidental to the international operation of a ship or ships and, therefore, is exempt from taxation under Section 883.
Regulations under Section 883 list activities that are not considered by the Internal Revenue Service to be incidental to the international operation of ships including the sale of air and land transportation, shore excursions and pre- and post-cruise tours. Our income from these activities that is earned from sources within the United States will be subject to U.S. taxation.
Taxation in the Absence of an Exemption Under Section 883
If we, the operator of our vessels, Celebrity Cruises Inc., Silversea Cruises Ltd., or our ship-owning subsidiaries were to fail to meet the requirements of Section 883 of the Internal Revenue Code, or if the provision was repealed, then, as explained below, such companies would be subject to U.S. income taxation on a portion of their income derived from or incidental to the international operation of our ships.
Because we, Celebrity Cruises Inc. and Silversea Cruises Ltd. conduct a trade or business in the United States, we, Celebrity Cruises Inc. and Silversea Cruises Ltd. would be taxable at regular corporate rates on our separate company taxable income (i.e., without regard to the income of our ship-owning subsidiaries) on income which is effectively connected with our U.S. trade or business (generally only income from U.S. sources). In addition, if any of our earnings and profits effectively connected with our U.S. trade or business were withdrawn, or were deemed to have been withdrawn, from our U.S. trade or business, those withdrawn amounts would be subject to a “branch profits” tax at the rate of 30%. We, Celebrity Cruises Inc. and Silversea Cruises Ltd. would also be potentially subject to tax on portions of certain interest paid by us at rates of up to 30%.
If Section 883 were not available to our ship-owning subsidiaries, each such subsidiary would be subject to a special 4% tax on its U.S. source gross transportation income, if any, each year because it does not have a fixed place of business in the United States and its income is derived from the leasing of a ship.
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Other United States Taxation
We, Celebrity Cruises Inc. and Silversea Cruises Ltd. earn U.S. source income from activities not considered incidental to international shipping. The tax on such income is not material to our results of operation for all years presented.

State Taxation
We, Celebrity Cruises Inc., Silversea Cruises Ltd. and certain of our subsidiaries are subject to various U.S. state income taxes which are generally imposed on each state’s portion of the U.S. source income subject to federal income taxes. Additionally, the state of Alaska subjects an allocated portion of the total income of companies doing business in Alaska and certain other affiliated companies to Alaska corporate state income taxes and also imposes a 33% tax on adjusted gross income from onboard gambling activities conducted in Alaska waters. This did not have a material impact to our results of operations for all years presented.
2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law. Among other things, the new legislation reduced the federal corporate income tax rate to 21% from 35%, resulting in an immaterial benefit in 2017 related to the reduction of our U.S. deferred tax liability. Although there are a number of provisions which apply to us, there was no material impact to our overall tax expense as a result of the legislation.  
Maltese and Spanish Income Taxation
Effective July 31, 2016, we sold 51% of our interest in Pullmantur Holdings S.L. ("Pullmantur Holdings"), the parent company of the Pullmantur brand. We account for our retained investment under the equity method of accounting. There was no tax impact to us as a result of this sale transaction. The Pullmantur group continues to be subject to the tax laws of Spain and Malta, among others.
Under the sale agreement, we remain responsible for pre-sale tax matters with respect to years that are still open under the statute of limitations.
United Kingdom Income Taxation
During the year ended December 31, 2019, we operated 16 ships under the United Kingdom tonnage tax regime (“U.K. tonnage tax”).
Companies subject to U.K. tonnage tax pay a corporate tax on a notional profit determined with reference to the net tonnage of qualifying vessels. The requirements for a company to qualify for the U.K. tonnage tax regime include being subject to U.K. corporate income tax, operating qualifying ships, which are strategically and commercially managed in the United Kingdom, and fulfilling a seafarer training requirement.
Relevant shipping profits include income from the operation of qualifying ships and from shipping related activities. Our U.K. income from non-shipping activities which do not qualify under the U.K. tonnage tax regime and which are not considered significant, remain subject to regular U.K. corporate income tax.
Chinese Taxation
Our U.K. tonnage tax company operates ships in international transportation in China. The income earned from this operation is exempt from taxation in China under the U.K./China double tax treaty and other circulars addressing indirect taxes. Changes to or failure to qualify for the treaty or circular could cause us to lose the benefits provided which would have a material impact on our results of operations. Our Chinese income from non-shipping activities or from shipping activities not qualifying for treaty or circular protection and which are considered insignificant, remain subject to Chinese taxation.
Other Taxation
We and certain of our subsidiaries are subject to value-added and other indirect taxes most of which are reclaimable, zero-rated or exempt.

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Website Access to Reports
We make available, free of charge, access to our Annual Reports, all quarterly and current reports and all amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission through our website at www.rclcorporate.com. The information contained on our website is not a part of any of these reports and is not incorporated by reference herein.
Information About our Executive Officers
As of February 25, 2020, our executive officers are:
NameAgePosition
Richard D. Fain72  Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Jason T. Liberty44  Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Michael W. Bayley61  President and Chief Executive Officer, Royal Caribbean International
Lisa Lutoff-Perlo62  President and Chief Executive Officer, Celebrity Cruises
Lawrence Pimentel68  President and Chief Executive Officer, Azamara
Harri U. Kulovaara67  Executive Vice President, Maritime
Bradley H. Stein64  Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer
Henry L. Pujol52  Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer
Richard D. Fain has served as a director since 1981 and as our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 1988. Mr. Fain is a recognized industry leader, having participated in shipping for over 40 years and having held a number of prominent industry positions, such as Chairman of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the largest cruise industry trade association. He currently serves on the University of Miami Board of Trustees as well as the National Board of the Posse Foundation. He is former chairman of the University of Miami Board of Trustees, Miami Business Forum, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the United Way of Miami-Dade.
Jason T. Liberty has been employed by the Company since 2005 and has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since February 2017. From May 2013 to February 2017, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Since February 2017, Mr. Liberty has overseen the Company’s Treasury, Accounting, Corporate, Strategic and Revenue Planning, Corporate Development, Deployment, Internal Audit and Investor Relations functions. Since May 2018, in addition to the above functions, he has also overseen the Company’s Information Technology, Supply Chain, Risk Management, Legal and Port Operations functions. Prior to his role as Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Liberty served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Finance from September 2012 through May 2013, overseeing the Company’s Corporate and Strategic Planning, Treasury, Investor Relations and Deployment functions. Prior to this, Mr. Liberty served, from 2010 through 2012, as Vice President of Corporate and Revenue Planning and, from 2008 to 2010, as Vice President of Corporate and Strategic Planning. Before joining Royal Caribbean, Mr. Liberty was a Senior Manager at the international public accounting firm of KPMG LLP. Mr. Liberty currently serves on the Board of Directors of WNS Holdings.
Michael W. Bayley has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean International since December 2014. Prior to this, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Celebrity Cruises since August 2012. Mr. Bayley has been employed by Royal Caribbean for over 30 years, having started as an Assistant Purser onboard one of the Company’s ships. He has served in a number of roles including as Executive Vice President, Operations from February 2012 until August 2012. Other positions Mr. Bayley has held include Executive Vice President, International from May 2010 until February 2012; Senior Vice President, International from December 2007 to May 2010; Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations for Royal Caribbean International; and Chairman and Managing Director of Island Cruises.
Lisa Lutoff-Perlo has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Celebrity Cruises since December 2014 and has been with the company since 1985. She also leads the Company’s Global Marine Organization. Ms. Lutoff-Perlo was the Executive Vice President, Operations of Royal Caribbean International from 2012 to 2014; Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations of Celebrity Cruises from 2007 to 2012; and Vice President, Onboard
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Revenue of Celebrity Cruises from 2005 to 2007. Ms. Lutoff-Perlo held various senior positions in sales and marketing with Royal Caribbean International from 1985 to 2005. Ms. Lutoff-Perlo also serves on the Board of Directors of AutoNation.
Lawrence Pimentel has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Azamara since July 2009. From 2001 until January 2009, Mr. Pimentel was President, Chief Executive Officer, Director and co-owner of SeaDream Yacht Club, a privately held luxury cruise line located in Miami, Florida with two yacht-style ships that sailed primarily in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. From April 1991 to February 2001, Mr. Pimentel was President and Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corp.’s Seabourn Cruise Line and from May 1998 to February 2001, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corp.’s Cunard Line.
Harri U. Kulovaara has served as Executive Vice President, Maritime since January 2005. Mr. Kulovaara is responsible for fleet design and newbuild operations. Mr. Kulovaara also chairs our Maritime Safety Advisory Board. Mr. Kulovaara has been employed with Royal Caribbean since 1995 in a variety of positions, including Senior Vice President, Marine Operations, and Senior Vice President, Quality Assurance. Mr. Kulovaara is a naval architect and engineer.
Bradley H. Stein has served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the Company since 2006. He has also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer of the Company since February 2009 and February 2011, respectively. Mr. Stein has been with Royal Caribbean since 1992. Before joining Royal Caribbean, Mr. Stein worked in private practice in New York and Miami.
Henry L. Pujol has served as Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer of the Company since May 2013. Mr. Pujol originally joined Royal Caribbean in 2004 as Assistant Controller and was promoted to Corporate Controller in May 2007. Before joining Royal Caribbean, Mr. Pujol was a Senior Manager at the international public accounting firm of KPMG LLP.
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Item 1A. Risk Factors
The risk factors set forth below and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are important factors that could cause actual results to differ from expected or historical results. It is not possible to predict or identify all such risks. There may be additional risks that we consider not to be material, or which are not known, and any of these risks could have the effects set forth below. The ordering of the risk factors set forth below is not intended to reflect any Company indication of priority or likelihood. See Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for a cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements.
Adverse worldwide economic or other conditions could reduce the demand for cruises and passenger spending, adversely impacting our operating results, cash flows and financial condition including potentially impairing the value of our ships and other assets.
The demand for cruises is affected by international, national and local economic conditions. Weak or uncertain economic conditions impact consumer confidence and pose a risk as vacationers may postpone or reduce discretionary spending. This, in turn, may result in cruise booking slowdowns, decreased cruise prices and lower onboard revenues. Given the global nature of our business, we are exposed to many different economies and our business could be hurt by challenging conditions in any of our markets. Any significant deterioration of international, national or local economic conditions, including those resulting from geopolitical events and/or international disputes, could result in a prolonged period of booking slowdowns, depressed cruise prices and/or reduced onboard revenues.
Fears of terrorist attacks, war, and other hostilities could have a negative impact on our results of operations.
Events such as terrorist attacks, war (or war-like conditions), conflicts (domestic or cross-border), civil unrest and other hostilities, including an escalation in the frequency or severity of incidents, and the resulting political instability, travel restrictions and advisories, and concerns over safety and security aspects of traveling or the fear of any of the foregoing have had, and could have in the future, a significant adverse impact on demand and pricing in the travel and vacation industry. In view of our global operations, we are susceptible to a wide range of adverse events. These events could also result in additional security measures taken by local authorities which may potentially impact access to ports and/or destinations.
Our operating costs could increase due to market forces and economic or geo-political factors beyond our control.
Our operating costs, including fuel, food, payroll and benefits, airfare, taxes, insurance and security costs, are all subject to increases due to market forces and economic or geo-political conditions or other factors beyond our control. Increases in these operating costs could adversely affect our profitability.
Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, fuel prices and interest rates could affect our financial results.
We are exposed to market risk attributable to changes in foreign currency exchange rates, fuel prices and interest rates. Significant changes in any of the foregoing could have a material impact on our financial results, net of the impact of our hedging activities and natural offsets. Our operating results have been and will continue to be impacted, often significantly, by changes in each of these factors. The value of our earnings in foreign currencies is adversely impacted by a strong United States dollar. In addition, any significant increase in fuel prices could materially and adversely affect our business as fuel prices not only impact our fuel costs, but also some of our other expenses, such as crew travel, freight and commodity prices. Mandatory fuel restrictions, such as the International Maritime Organization's 2020 Low Sulphur Regulation ("IMO 2020"), may also create uncertainty related to the price and availability of certain fuel types potentially impacting operating costs and the value of our related hedging instruments. Also, a significant increase in interest rates could materially impact the cost of our floating rate debt. Furthermore, regulatory changes, such as the announcement of the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority to phase out LIBOR by the end of 2021, may adversely affect our portfolio of floating-rate debt and interest rate derivatives. If LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate any credit agreements or interest rate derivatives agreements extending beyond 2021 that utilize LIBOR as a factor in determining the interest rate or hedge rate, which could adversely impact our cost of debt.
See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” for more information.

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Conducting business globally may result in increased costs and other risks.
We operate our business globally. Operating internationally exposes us to a number of risks, including increased exposure to a wider range of regional and local economic conditions, volatile local political conditions, potential changes in duties and taxes, including changing and/or uncertain interpretations of existing tax laws and regulations, required compliance with additional laws and policies affecting cruising, vacation or maritime businesses or governing the operations of foreign-based companies, currency fluctuations, interest rate movements, difficulties in operating under local business environments, port quality and availability in certain regions, U.S. and global anti-bribery laws or regulations, imposition of trade barriers and restrictions on repatriation of earnings.
Our future growth strategies increasingly depend on the growth and sustained profitability of certain international markets, such as China. Some factors that will be critical to our success in developing these markets may be different than those affecting our more-established North American and European markets. In the Chinese market, in particular, our future success depends on our ability to continue to raise awareness of our products, evolve the available distribution channels and adapt our offerings to best suit the Chinese consumer. China’s economy differs from the economies of other developed countries in many respects and, as the legal and regulatory system in China continues to evolve, there may be greater uncertainty as to the interpretation and enforcement of applicable laws and regulations.
Operating globally also exposes us to numerous and sometimes conflicting legal, regulatory and tax requirements. In many parts of the world, including countries in which we operate, practices in the local business communities might not conform to international business standards. We must adhere to policies designed to promote legal and regulatory compliance as well as applicable laws and regulations. However, we might not be successful in ensuring that our employees, agents, representatives and other third parties with whom we associate throughout the world properly adhere to them. Failure by us, our employees or any of these third parties to adhere to our policies or applicable laws or regulations could result in penalties, sanctions, damage to our reputation and related costs which in turn could negatively affect our results of operations and cash flows.
We have operations in and source passengers from the United Kingdom and the European Union. On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union and immediately entered an 11-month transition period. Uncertainty during the transition period could lead to adverse effects on the economy of the United Kingdom, including the value of the British Pound, and the other economies in which we operate, making it more difficult to source passengers from these regions. Additionally, if the withdrawal is not executed effectively, it could adversely affect tax, legal and regulatory regimes to which our business in the region is subject. The withdrawal could also, among other potential outcomes, disrupt the free movement of goods, services and people between the United Kingdom and the European Union, if not executed effectively.
As a global operator, our business may be also impacted by changes in U.S. policy or priorities in areas such as trade, immigration and/or environmental or labor regulations, among others. Depending on the nature and scope of any such changes, they could impact our domestic and international business operations. Any such changes, and any international response to them, could potentially introduce new barriers to passenger or crew travel and/or cross border transactions, impact our guest experience and/or increase our operating costs.
If we are unable to address these risks adequately, our financial position and results of operations could be adversely affected, including potentially impairing the value of our ships and other assets.
Changes in U.S. foreign travel policy may affect our results of operations.
Changes in U.S. foreign policy could result in the imposition of travel restrictions or travel bans on U.S. persons to certain countries or result in the imposition of U.S. rules, regulations or legislation that could expose us to penalties or claims of monetary damages. The timing and scope of these changes are unpredictable, and they could cause us to cancel scheduled sailings, possibly on short notice, or could result in possible litigation against us. This, in turn, could decrease our revenue, increase our operating costs and otherwise impair our profitability. For instance, in June 2019, the U.S. government announced that cruise ships would no longer be allowed to travel between the U.S. and Cuba. This required us to change our high yielding Cuba sailings on short notice, which impacted our earnings. Moreover, in May 2019, the U.S. government activated Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996, popularly known as the Helms-Burton Act. This allowed certain individuals
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whose property was confiscated by the Cuban government to sue in U.S. courts anyone who "traffics" in the property in question. The activation of Title III has resulted in litigation against us and others in the tourism industry.
Price increases for commercial airline service for our guests or major changes or reduction in commercial airline service and/or availability could adversely impact the demand for cruises and undermine our ability to provide reasonably priced vacation packages to our guests.
Many of our guests depend on scheduled commercial airline services to transport them to or from the ports where our cruises embark or disembark. Increases in the price of airfare would increase the overall price of the cruise vacation to our guests, which may adversely impact demand for our cruises. In addition, changes in the availability of commercial airline services could adversely affect our guests’ ability to obtain air travel, as well as our ability to transfer our guests to or from our cruise ships, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
Incidents on ships, at port facilities, land destinations and/or affecting the cruise vacation industry in general, and the associated negative media coverage and publicity, could affect our reputation and impact our sales and results of operations.
The ownership and/or operation of cruise ships, private destinations, port facilities and shore excursions involves the risk of accidents, illnesses, mechanical failures, environmental incidents and other incidents which may bring into question safety, health, security and vacation satisfaction and can negatively impact our sales, operations and reputation. Incidents involving cruise ships, and, in particular the safety, health and security of guests and crew and the media coverage thereof have impacted and could in the future impact demand for our cruises and pricing in the industry. Our reputation and our business could also be damaged by negative publicity regarding the cruise industry in general, including publicity regarding the spread of contagious disease, over-tourism in key ports and destinations and the potentially adverse environmental impacts of cruising. The considerable expansion in the use of social and digital media over recent years has compounded the potential scope and reach of any negative publicity. If any such incident or news cycle occurs during a time of high seasonal demand, the effect could disproportionately impact our results of operations for the year. In addition, incidents involving cruise ships may result in additional costs to our business, increasing government or other regulatory oversight and, in certain cases, potential litigation.
Significant weather, climate events and/or natural disasters could adversely impact our business and results from operations.
Natural disasters (e.g. earthquakes), weather and/or climate events (including hurricanes and typhoons) could impact our source markets and operations resulting in travel restrictions, guest cancellations, an inability to source our crew or our provisions and supplies from certain places. We are often forced to alter itineraries and occasionally cancel a cruise or a series of cruises or to redeploy our ships due to these types of events, which could have an adverse effect on our sales, operating costs and profitability in the current and future periods. Increases in the frequency, severity or duration of these types of events could exacerbate their impact and cause further disruption to our operations or make certain destinations less desirable or unavailable impacting our revenues and profitability further. Any of the foregoing could have an adverse impact on our results of operations and on industry performance.
Disease outbreaks and an increase in concern about the risk of illness could adversely impact our business and results from operations.
Disease outbreaks and increased concern related to illness when travelling to, from, and on our ships could cause a drop in demand for cruises, guest cancellations, travel restrictions, an unavailability of ports and/or destinations, cruise cancellations, ship redeployments and an inability to source our crew, provisions or supplies from certain places. The recent coronavirus outbreak is currently having these impacts on our operations and, given its fluid and developing nature, has made it extremely difficult for us to forecast the impact it could have on our future operations. For instance, the resulting measures taken by China and other countries to contain the disease, including travel restrictions, have resulted in the cancellation or itinerary modification of an increasing number of our cruises in Southeast Asia. In addition, our imposition of measures to protect our guests and crew, including denying boarding to those that have traveled from, to or through mainland China or Hong Kong, has caused us to cancel cruise bookings or restrict certain guests from booking our cruises. All of these issues are having and are likely to continue to have a material impact on our bookings, operations and our overall financial performance.
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An increase in capacity worldwide or excess capacity in a particular market could adversely impact our cruise sales and/or pricing.
Although our ships can be redeployed, cruise sales and/or pricing may be impacted by the introduction of new ships into the marketplace, reductions in cruise capacity, overall market growth and deployment decisions of ourselves and our competitors. As of December 31, 2019, a total of 67 new ships with approximately 159,000 berths are on order for delivery through 2024 in the cruise industry. The further net growth in capacity from these new ships and future orders, without an increase in the cruise industry’s demand and/or share of the vacation market, could depress cruise prices and impede our ability to achieve yield improvement.
In addition, to the extent that we or our competitors deploy ships to a particular itinerary/region and the resulting capacity in that region exceeds the demand, we may lower pricing and profitability may be lower than anticipated. This risk exists in emerging cruise markets, where capacity has grown rapidly over the past few years and in mature markets where excess capacity is typically redeployed. Any of the foregoing could have an adverse impact on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, including potentially impairing the value of our ships and other assets.
Unavailability of ports of call may adversely affect our results of operations.
We believe that port destinations are a major reason why guests choose to go on a particular cruise or on a cruise vacation. The availability of ports and destinations is affected by a number of factors, including industry demand and competition for key ports and destinations, existing capacity constraints, constraints related to the size of certain ships, security, financial limitations on port development, exclusivity arrangements that ports may have with our competitors, geopolitical developments and local governmental regulations. In addition, fuel costs may adversely impact the destinations on certain of our itineraries.
Increased demand and competition for key ports of call or destinations, limitations on the availability or feasibility of use of specific ports of call and/or constraints on the availability of shore excursions and other service providers at such ports or destinations could adversely affect our results of operations.
Growing anti-tourism sentiments and environmental concerns related to cruising could adversely impact our operations.
Certain ports and destinations are facing a surge of both cruise and non-cruise tourism which, in certain cases, has fueled anti-tourism sentiments and related countermeasures to limit the volume of tourists allowed in these destinations. In certain destinations, countermeasures to limit the volume of tourists are being contemplated and/or put into effect, including proposed limits on cruise ships and cruise passengers. For example, effective 2020, the local government of Dubrovnik, Croatia will cap the number of cruise ships that can dock each day to two and the number of corresponding passengers. Similar existing and potential restrictions in ports and destinations such as Venice and Barcelona could limit the itinerary and destination options we can offer our passengers going forward. Some environmental groups have also generated negative publicity about the environmental impact of the cruise vacation industry and are advocating for more stringent regulation of ship emissions at berth and at sea. These anti-tourism sentiments and growing environmental scrutiny of the cruise industry and any related countermeasures could adversely impact our operations and financial results and subject us to increasing compliance costs.
Our reliance on shipyards, their subcontractors and our suppliers to implement our newbuild and ship upgrade programs and to repair and maintain our ships exposes us to risks which, if realized, could adversely impact our business.
We rely on shipyards, their subcontractors and our suppliers to effectively construct our new ships and to repair, maintain and upgrade our existing ships on a timely basis and in a cost effective manner. There are a limited number of shipyards with the capability and capacity to build, repair, maintain and/or upgrade our ships.
Increased demand for available new construction slots and/or continued consolidation in the cruise shipyard industry could impact our ability to: (1) construct new ships, when and as planned, (2) cause us to continue to commit to new ship orders earlier than we have historically done so and/or (3) result in stronger bargaining power on the part of the shipyards and the export credit agencies providing financing for the project. Current market conditions characterized by limited shipyard capacity, high demand for shipyard and sub-contractor resources and the growing application of advanced technologies to newbuilds (e.g. LNG) could cause delays in ship deliveries and
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scheduled drydocks across the industry. Our inability to timely and cost-effectively procure new capacity and the potential delay in ship deliveries and/or scheduled drydocks or modernizations could have a significant negative impact on our future business plans and results of operations.
Building, repairing, maintaining and/or upgrading a ship is also sophisticated work that involves significant risks. In addition, the prices of labor and/or various commodities that are used in the construction of ships can be subject to volatile price changes, including the impact of fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. Shipyards, their subcontractors and/or our suppliers may encounter financial, technical or design problems when doing these jobs.  If materialized, these problems could impact the timely delivery or costs of new ships or the ability of shipyards to repair and upgrade our fleet in accordance with our needs or expectations.  In addition, delays, mechanical faults and/or unforeseen incidents, such as the collapse of the drydock structure at the Grand Bahama Shipyard involving Oasis of the Seas, may result in cancellation of cruises or, in more severe situations, new ship orders, or necessitate unscheduled drydocks and repairs of ships. These events and any related adverse publicity could result in lost revenue, increased operating expenses, or both, and thus adversely affect our results of operations.
We may lose business to competitors throughout the vacation market.
We operate in the vacation market and cruising is one of many alternatives for people choosing a vacation. We therefore risk losing business not only to other cruise lines, but also to other vacation operators, which provide other leisure options, including hotels, resorts, internet-based alternative lodging sites and package holidays and tours.
We face significant competition from other cruise lines on the basis of cruise pricing, travel agent preference and also in terms of the nature of ships, services and destinations that we offer to guests. Our principal competitors within the cruise vacation industry include Carnival Corporation & plc, which owns, among others, Aida Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Seabourn; Disney Cruise Line; MSC Cruises; and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, which owns Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Our revenues are sensitive to the actions of other cruise lines in many areas including pricing, scheduling, capacity and promotions, which can have a substantial adverse impact not only on our revenues, but on overall industry revenues.
In the event that we do not effectively market or differentiate our cruise brands from our competitors or otherwise compete effectively with other vacation alternatives and new or existing cruise companies, our results of operations and financial position could be adversely affected.
We may not be able to obtain sufficient financing or capital for our needs or may not be able to do so on terms that are acceptable or consistent with our expectations.
To fund our capital expenditures (including new ship orders), operations and scheduled debt payments, we have historically relied on a combination of cash flows provided by operations, drawdowns under available credit facilities, the incurrence of additional indebtedness and the sale of equity or debt securities in private or public securities markets. Any circumstance or event which leads to a decrease in consumer cruise spending, such as worsening global economic conditions or significant incidents impacting the cruise industry, could negatively affect our operating cash flows. See “-Adverse worldwide economic or other conditions…” and “-Incidents or adverse publicity concerning our ships and/or passengers or the cruise vacation industry…” for more information.
Although we believe we can access sufficient liquidity to fund our operations, investments and obligations as expected, there can be no assurances to that effect. Our ability to access additional funding as and when needed, our ability to timely refinance and/or replace our outstanding debt securities and credit facilities on acceptable terms and our cost of funding will depend upon numerous factors including, but not limited to, the vibrancy of the financial markets, our financial performance, the performance of our industry in general and the size, scope and timing of our financial needs. In addition, even where financing commitments have been secured, significant disruptions in the capital and credit markets could cause our banking and other counterparties to breach their contractual obligations to us. This could include failures of banks or other financial service companies to fund required borrowings under our loan agreements or to pay us amounts that may become due or return collateral that is refundable under our derivative contracts for hedging of fuel prices, interest rates and foreign currencies or other agreements. If any of the foregoing occurs it may have a negative impact on our cash flows, including our ability to meet our obligations, our results of operations and our financial condition.
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Our liquidity could be adversely impacted if we are unable to satisfy the covenants required by our credit facilities.
Our debt agreements contain covenants, including covenants restricting our and their ability to take certain actions and financial covenants. Our ability to maintain our credit facilities may also be impacted by changes in our ownership base. More specifically, we may be required to prepay our bank financing facilities if any person acquires ownership of more than 50% of our common stock or, subject to certain exceptions, during any 24-month period, a majority of our board of directors is no longer comprised of individuals who were members of our board of directors on the first day of such period.  Our public debt securities also contain change of control provisions that would be triggered by a third-party acquisition of greater than 50% of our common stock coupled with a ratings downgrade.
Failure to comply with the terms of these debt facilities could result in an event of default. Generally, if an event of default under any debt agreement occurs, then pursuant to cross default acceleration clauses, our outstanding debt and derivative contract payables could become due and/or terminated. In addition, in such events, our credit card processors could hold back payments to create a reserve. We cannot provide assurances that we would have sufficient liquidity to repay, or the ability to refinance the debt if such amounts were accelerated upon an event of default.
If we are unable to appropriately balance our cost management and capital allocation strategies with our goal of satisfying guest expectations, it may adversely impact our business success.
Our goals call for us to provide high quality products and deliver high quality services. There can be no assurance that we can successfully balance these goals with our cost management and capital allocation strategies. Our business also requires us to make capital allocation decisions across a broad scope of investment options with varying return profiles and time horizons for value realization. These include significant capital investment decisions such as ordering new ships, upgrading our existing fleet, enhancing our technology and/or data capabilities, and expanding our portfolio of land-based assets, based on expected market preferences, competition and projected demand. There can be no assurance that our strategies will be successful, which could adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. Investments in older tonnage, in particular, run the risk of not meeting expected returns and diluting related asset values.
Our attempts to expand our business into new markets and new ventures may not be successful.
We opportunistically seek to grow our business through, among other things, expansion into new destinations or source markets and establishment of new ventures complementary to our current offerings. These attempts to expand our business increase the complexity of our business, require significant levels of investment and can strain our management, personnel, operations and systems. There can be no assurance that these business expansion efforts will develop as anticipated or that we will succeed, and if we do not, we may be unable to recover our investment, which could adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks associated with our development and operation of key land-based destination projects may adversely impact our business or results of operations.
We have invested, and will continue to invest, either directly or indirectly through joint ventures and partnerships, in a growing portfolio of key land-based projects including port and terminal facilities, private destinations and multi-brand destination projects. These investments can increase our exposure to certain key risks depending on the scope, location, and the ownership and management structure of these projects. These risks include susceptibility to weather events, exposure to local political/regulatory developments and policies, logistical challenges and human resource and labor risks.
Our reliance on travel agencies to sell and market our cruises exposes us to certain risks which, if realized, could adversely impact our business.
We rely on travel agencies to generate the majority of bookings for our ships. Accordingly, we must ensure that our commission rates and incentive structures remain competitive. If we fail to offer competitive compensation packages or fail to maintain our relationships, these agencies may be incentivized to sell cruises offered by our competitors to our detriment, which could adversely impact our operating results. Our reliance on third-party sellers is particularly pronounced in certain markets. In addition, the travel agent industry is sensitive to economic
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conditions that impact discretionary income of consumers. Significant disruptions, especially disruptions impacting those agencies that sell a high volume of our business, or contractions in the industry could reduce the number of travel agencies available for us to market and sell our cruises, which could have an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.
Disruptions in our shoreside or shipboard operations or our information systems may adversely affect our results of operations.
Our principal executive office and principal shoreside operations are located in Florida, and we have shoreside offices throughout the world. Actual or threatened natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes/typhoons, earthquakes, tornadoes, fires or floods) or similar events in these locations may have a material impact on our business continuity, reputation and results of operations. In addition, substantial or repeated information system failures, computer viruses or cyber attacks impacting our shoreside or shipboard operations could adversely impact our business. We do not generally carry business interruption insurance for our shoreside or shipboard operations or our information systems. As such, any losses or damages incurred by us could have an adverse impact on our results of operations.
The loss of key personnel, our inability to recruit or retain qualified personnel, or disruptions among our shipboard personnel due to strained employee relations could adversely affect our results of operations.
Our success depends, in large part, on the skills and contributions of key executives and other employees, and on our ability to recruit, develop and retain high quality personnel as well as having adequate succession plans. As demand for qualified personnel in the industry grows, we must continue to effectively recruit, train, motivate and retain our employees, both shoreside and on our ships, in order to effectively compete in our industry, maintain our current business and support our projected global growth.
As of December 31, 2019, 89% of our shipboard employees were covered by collective bargaining agreements. A dispute under our collective bargaining agreements could result in a work stoppage of those employees covered by the agreements. We may not be able to satisfactorily renegotiate these collective bargaining agreements when they expire. In addition, existing collective bargaining agreements may not prevent a strike or work stoppage on our ships. We may also be subject to or affected by work stoppages unrelated to our business or collective bargaining agreements. Any such work stoppages or potential work stoppages could have a material adverse effect on our financial results, as could a loss of key employees, our inability to recruit or retain qualified personnel or disruptions among our personnel.
Business activities that involve our co-investments with third parties may subject us to additional risks.
Partnerships, joint ventures and other business structures involving our co-investments with third parties generally include some form of shared control over the operations of the business and create additional risks, including the possibility that other investors in such ventures could become bankrupt or otherwise lack the financial resources to meet their obligations, or could have or develop business interests, policies or objectives that are inconsistent with ours. In addition to financial risks, our co-investment activities may also present managerial and operational risks and expose us to reputational or legal concerns. These or other issues related to our co-investments with third parties could adversely impact our operations.
Past or pending business acquisitions or potential acquisitions that we may decide to pursue in the future carry inherent risks which could adversely impact our financial performance and condition.
The Company, from time to time, has engaged in acquisitions (e.g., our Silversea Cruises acquisition) and may pursue acquisitions in the future, which are subject to, among other factors, the Company’s ability to identify attractive business opportunities and to negotiate favorable terms for such opportunities. Accordingly, the Company cannot make any assurances that potential acquisitions will be completed timely or at all, or that if completed, we would realize the anticipated benefits of such acquisition. Acquisitions also carry inherent risks such as, among others: (1) the potential delay or failure of our efforts to successfully integrate business processes and realizing expected synergies; (2) difficulty in aligning procedures, controls and/or policies; and (3) future unknown liabilities and costs that may be associated with an acquisition. In addition, acquisitions may also adversely impact our liquidity and/or debt levels, and the recognized value of goodwill and other intangible assets can be negatively
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affected by unforeseen events and/or circumstances, which may result in an impairment charge. Any of the foregoing events could adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.
We rely on supply chain vendors and third-party service providers who are integral to the operations of our businesses. These vendors and service providers may be unable or unwilling to deliver on their commitments or may act in ways that could harm our business.
We rely on supply chain vendors to deliver key products to the operations of our businesses around the world. Any event impacting a vendor’s ability to deliver goods of the expected quality at the location and time needed could negatively impact our ability to deliver our cruise experience. Events impacting our supply chain could be caused by factors beyond the control of our suppliers or us, including inclement weather, natural disasters, increased demand, problems in production or distribution and/or disruptions in third-party logistics or transportation systems, such as those caused by the recent coronavirus. Interruptions to our supply chain could increase costs and could limit the availability of products critical to our operations.
In order to achieve cost and operational efficiencies, we outsource to third-party vendors certain services that are integral to the operations of our global businesses, such as our onboard concessionaires, certain of our call center operations and operation of a large part of our information technology systems. We are subject to the risk that certain decisions are subject to the control of our third-party service providers and that these decisions may adversely affect our activities. A failure to adequately monitor a third-party service provider’s compliance with a service level agreement or regulatory or legal requirements could result in significant economic and reputational harm to us. There is also a risk the confidentiality, privacy and/or security of data held by third parties or communicated over third-party networks or platforms could become compromised.
If we are unable to keep pace with developments in technology or technological obsolescence, our operations or competitive position could become impaired.
Our business continues to demand the use of sophisticated technology and systems. These technologies and systems require significant investment and must be proven, refined, updated, upgraded and/or replaced with more advanced systems in order to continue to meet our customers’ demands and expectations. If we are unable to do so in a timely manner or within reasonable cost parameters or if we are unable to appropriately and timely train our employees to operate any of these new systems, our business could suffer. We also may not achieve the benefits that we anticipate from any new technology or system, which could result in higher than anticipated costs or impair our operating results.
We are exposed to cyber security attacks and data breaches, including the risks and costs associated with protecting our systems and maintaining integrity and security of our business information, as well as personal data of our guests, employees and business partners.
We are subject to cyber security attacks. These cyber attacks can vary in scope and intent from attacks with the objective of compromising our systems, networks and communications for economic gain to attacks with the objective of disrupting, disabling or otherwise compromising our maritime and/or shoreside operations. The attacks can encompass a wide range of methods and intent, including phishing attacks, illegitimate requests for payment, theft of intellectual property, theft of confidential or non-public information, installation of malware, installation of ransomware and theft of personal or business information. The breadth and scope of these attacks, as well as the techniques and sophistication used to conduct these attacks, have grown over time.
A successful cyber security attack may target us directly, or it may be the result of a third party's inadequate care. In either scenario, the Company may suffer damage to its systems and data that could interrupt our operations, adversely impact our reputation and brand and expose us to increased risks of governmental investigation, litigation, fines and other liability, any of which could adversely affect our business. Furthermore, responding to such an attack and mitigating the risk of future attacks could result in additional operating and capital costs in systems technology, personnel, monitoring and other investments.
In addition, we are also subject to various risks associated with the collection, handling, storage and transmission of sensitive information. In the course of doing business, we collect large volumes of employee, customer and other third-party data, including personally identifiable information and individual credit data, for various business purposes. We are subject to federal, state and international laws (including the European Union
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