Royal Caribbean Group, hereinafter “Company”, is the world’s second largest cruise company. We wholly own and operate three global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises. Through these brands, the Company operates a large and diverse fleet of ships on a selection of worldwide itineraries that call on hundreds of destinations across all seven continents.
This statement was prepared pursuant to the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act of 2015 and Australia’s Modern Slavery Act of 2018 for the financial year ending December 31, 2020. It is published on behalf of the Company, its wholly owned global brands, and our Azamara brand which we operated throughout 2020 and sold in the first quarter of 2021.
The statement is signed by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and approved by the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. A signed copy of this statement is available upon request.
We endorse the principles contained in the United Nations’ (“UN”) Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Labour Organization’s (“ILO”) core conventions on labour standards, and we pledged our support in 2019 to the UN Global LGBTI Standards of Conduct for Business. We are committed to respecting human rights and core labour principles in our business operations, and we approach and undertake this commitment seriously.
We are a diverse Company doing business with equally diverse customers, suppliers, business partners, and third parties, and we value the backgrounds and experiences brought to our Company therefrom. Together, we foster an inclusive environment where we treat each other with respect and dignity and in a manner consistent with the Company’s values.
We place a high priority on conducting our business in compliance with the law and in accordance with the highest standards of business ethics. The Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (“Code”) sets forth the Company’s values and governs the ethical and legal conduct of our employees across our global operations, including our commitment to human rights and core labour principles and our condemnation of human trafficking and all forms of forced and child labour. All employees are trained on, and certify compliance with, the Code upon commencement of employment and at regular intervals thereafter. The Code is reviewed and updated on an annual basis and is approved by our Board of Directors. We also provide specific content training on modern slavery to targeted employees within supply chain and other functions in the organization.
Our Supply Chain
Our supply chain consists of suppliers servicing our newbuild, shipboard hotel, marine, and human resources operations and our general shoreside operations. We are committed to transparent relationships with our suppliers. We act ethically and comply with the laws applicable to where we conduct business, and we expect that our suppliers do the same in their business operations, including their dealings with and for the Company. These expectations and requirements are stated in the Company’s Supplier Guiding Principles and referenced in our Code and on our Internet-based supplier portal.
Modern Slavery Statement
The Supplier Guiding Principles also state our expectation that suppliers make the same commitment to human rights and core labour principles as we do by providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees, prohibiting all forms of forced and child labour, ensuring compliance with applicable wage and hour laws, promoting a diverse workplace free from harassment, discrimination, and abuse, and respecting legal rights on freedom of association and collective bargaining. Our purchase order terms and conditions with suppliers incorporate these expectations and reserve our right to inspect and audit records related to the supplier relationship to ensure obligations have been/are being met. We use a risk-based approach to manage our supplier relationships, including due diligence and internal processes, procedures, and controls. Periodic risk assessments of our business operations guide this approach.
The health, safety, and security of our shoreside employees, crewmembers, and guests is paramount. With the global spread of the virus, our shoreside employees began working remotely. We also implemented additional health measures, including isolation and quarantine measures, across our fleet and worked with our global supply chain to procure related medical supplies, including additional personal protective equipment and virus testing kits, to ensure the health of our crewmembers and guests.
As we suspended vessel operations, we were tasked with the safe repatriation of tens of thousands of crewmembers and guests to their home countries — a large scaled effort as countries began closing their borders. The refocus of operations to repatriation and the continued supply of the vessels involved the input and coordination of several departments of the Company and significant support from our suppliers.
Currently, our efforts are focused on the healthy return to our facilities and the healthy return to service of our vessels. Similar to the repatriation effort, this has involved several departments of the Company and significant support from our suppliers, including the adoption of new processes and procedures and the sourcing and procurement of related health and safety related supplies. Throughout the pandemic, the continued mental and physical health of our shoreside employees and crewmembers remained a priority. To this end, we’ve maintained routine communication to and dialogue among our workforce, worked with seafarers’ unions representing our crewmembers regarding pandemic-related disruptions in employment, and made available certain health-related resources.
We operate in the U.K. through RCL Cruises Ltd., and in Australia through a branch office of the same. We acquired a 66.7% equity stake in Silversea Cruises in July 2018 and acquired the remaining stake in July 2020. Silversea Cruises operates in Australia through Silversea Cruises Australia Pty. Ltd. and is in the process of integrating their supply chain and associated processes and procedures as above.
Modern Slavery Statement Reporting
We encourage employees and suppliers to report known or suspected illegal and unethical conduct or activities to certain designated contacts, including our Global Compliance and Ethics Group or through the Company’s Compliance and Ethics AWARE (“Address Wrongdoing As Responsible Employees”) Hotline, which is accessible by phone or the Internet, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. More information about the Company’s Compliance and Ethics AWARE Hotline can be found in Our Code, Supplier Guiding Principles, our corporate website, and at rclaware.ethicspoint.com. Reports are reviewed, and investigations and actions are taken when appropriate.
The above processes are periodically reviewed and/or updated to ensure they remain appropriate and effective.
Certain statements in this release relating to, among other things, our future performance estimates, forecasts and projections constitute forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to: statements regarding revenues, costs and financial results for 2020 and beyond. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “driving,” “estimate,” “expect,” “goal,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “considering”, and similar expressions are intended to help identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current expectations, are based on judgments, are inherently uncertain and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in those forward-looking statements. Examples of these risks, uncertainties and other factors include, but are not limited to the following: the impact of the global incidence and spread of COVID-19, which has led to the temporary suspension of our operations and has had and will continue to have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations, or other contagious illnesses on economic conditions and the travel industry in general and the financial position and operating results of our Company in particular, such as: the current and potential additional governmental and self-imposed travel restrictions, the current and potential extension of the suspension of cruises and new additional suspensions, guest cancellations; our ability to obtain sufficient financing, capital or revenues to satisfy liquidity needs, capital expenditures, debt repayments and other financing needs; the effectiveness of the actions we have taken to improve and address our liquidity needs; the impact of the economic and geopolitical environment on key aspects of our business, such as the demand for cruises, passenger spending, and operating costs; incidents or adverse publicity concerning our ships, port facilities, land destinations and/or passengers or the cruise vacation industry in general; concerns over safety, health and security of guests and crew; further impairments of our goodwill, long-lived assets, equity investments and notes receivable; an inability to source our crew or our provisions and supplies from certain places; the incurrence of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases on our ships and an increase in concern about the risk of illness on our ships or when traveling to or from our ships, all of which reduces demand; unavailability of ports of call; growing anti-tourism sentiments and environmental concerns; changes in US foreign travel policy; the uncertainties of conducting business internationally and expanding into new markets and new ventures; our ability to recruit, develop and retain high quality personnel; changes in operating and financing costs; our indebtedness, any additional indebtedness we may incur and restrictions in the agreements governing our indebtedness that limit our flexibility in operating our business, including the significant portion of assets that are collateral under these agreements; the impact of foreign currency exchange rates, interest rate and fuel price fluctuations; the settlement of conversions of our convertible notes, if any, in shares of our common stock or a combination of cash and shares of our common stock, which may result in substantial dilution for our existing shareholders; our expectation that we will not declare or pay dividends on our common stock for the near future; vacation industry competition and changes in industry capacity and overcapacity; 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 others; the impact of new or changing legislation and regulations or governmental orders on our business; pending or threatened litigation, investigations and enforcement actions; the effects of weather, natural disasters and seasonality on our business; emergency ship repairs, including the related lost revenue; the impact of issues at shipyards, including ship delivery delays, ship cancellations or ship construction cost increases; shipyard unavailability; and the unavailability or cost of air service.
In addition, many of these risks and uncertainties are currently heightened by and will continue to be heightened by, or in the future may be heightened by, the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not possible to predict or identify all such risks.
More information about factors that could affect our operating results is included under the caption “Risk Factors” in our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, as well as our other filings with the SEC, and the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K, copies of which may be obtained by visiting our Investor Relations website at www.rclinvestor.com or the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements in this release, which are based on information available to us on the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.