Frank Del Rio
Chief Executive Officer at Norwegian Cruise Line
Thank you Jessica. And good morning everyone. And thank you for joining us today. And as always, I hope that all of you, as well as your loved ones, remain healthy and safe. Today, we will discuss commentary on three areas. First, the progress we have made on our great cruise come back. Second, our recent booking and demand trends, which have shown particular strength for sailings operating in second half of 2022 and for all of 2023, when our fleet is expected to be back in full operation in its normalized occupancy levels.
And finally, on our exciting pipeline of new vessels, which we expect to contribute outsized EBITDA growth and other important financial metric improvements. Slide 4 outlines how far we have come on our return to service plan. When we last spoke in early August, we had just relaunched the first vessel in our fleet, Norwegian Jade in Greece, and we're on the verge of resuming cruising in the U.S., with Norwegian Encore making our West Coast debut, sailing to Alaska from Seattle. Since then, we have successfully relaunched 11 of our 28 vessels, with all three of our award winning brands resuming operations.
We couldn't be more pleased with the performance of our re-launch ships. First, our crew has not missed a beat since returning. Seamlessly adapting to our new health and safety protocols and going above and beyond to deliver the exceptional vacation experiences our brands are known for. This commitment to service has resulted in record high guest satisfaction scores with each one sequentially better than the month before. And second, we are seeing the power of our industry-leading bundling strategy pay off and get our boarding our vessels with fresh wallet, which coupled with robust pent-up demand for all kinds of experiences, is translating to remarkably strong onboard revenue generation. In fact, onboard revenue has exceeded our base on expectations by over 20% with broad-based strength across all shifts, regions, and revenue streams. While I would caution though, against extrapolating these figures as permanent or indicative of steady-state future performance just yet, as there are several transitory factors that may be contributing to the elevated current level including pent-up demand, cabin, and guests mix, it is nonetheless an encouraging and positive signal of the healthy consumer demand we are experiencing.
Lastly, and most importantly, these relaunched shifts have already contributed positive cash flow in the third quarter, even with our self-imposed occupancy level cap s. Despite a return to service going studying with the unfortunate summer stood as a Delta variant, I'm happy to say that our robust multilayered sales face health and safety protocols worked as designed to mitigate the introduction and transmission of COVID-19 aboard our vessels. The prevalence of cases we identified is pre -boarding testing, mid-Cruise and then at departation were in consequential and well below what we all saw in the general population during this time.
In short, we were able to fairly evaluate and fine tune our rigorous protocols during one of the highest heights of the pandemic, and the stellar results speak for themselves. Today, all ships in our fleet continue operating with a strict 100% vaccination requirement, coupled with universal pre -embarkation testing and multiple layers of additional protection once onboard, including upgraded air filtration systems and well-resourced medical centers. We will continue to follow science and evaluate and modify our protocols as needed, with guidance from our team of experts led by former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, and former applicable Public Health Authority.
As I have said, time and time again, our commitments at health and safety is far and away, the most important principle that our Company operates at all levels. And not just now, but pre and post pandemic as well. And we are willing to go to great lengths to protect our guests, crew and the communities we visit. Just last week, we were pleased to receive positive view from the CDC with a temporary extension of the framework for conditional sailing order through January 15, 2022, at which point the order will revert to a voluntary program. We view this as a positive step forward for our Company and the industry at large and we were encouraged to see positive recognition by the CDC of the successful resumption of cruising and the length we have all taken to enhance our already stringent health and safety protocols in response to COVID-19, which continue to be much more rigorous and much more comprehensive than those implemented by any other travel, leisure, or hospitality sector. With the progress of [indecipherable] is met with vaccinations, therapeutics, and adapting to living in the ongoing pandemic environment, the worst is seemingly behind us.
Each day we become increasingly confident in our ability to flawlessly execute on our Phase Voyager assumption, which is detailed by Brian on Slide 5. We continue to expect our full fleet to be back in operation by April 1st of 2022, and with this steady and prudent trajectory, we are well-positioned for a projected return to pre-pandemic occupancy levels across our fleet no later than the beginning of the third quarter of 2022, and in time to capture peak summer season demand and pricing. While we expect to continue seeing some fits and start as we ramp up our re-launch, we are keeping a close watch on port availability, travel restrictions, and any other changes in global public health environment which could affect our return to service plans as we are ready to adapt accordingly. Turning to slide 6, we shift today's discussion to our booking and demand trends. I'm pleased to report that we continue to see robust future demand for cruising, particularly for sailings operating in the second half of 2022, and all of 2023 as evidenced by our record cumulative book position during these periods.
You'll recall at the beginning of our third quarter, our booked position for full-year 2022 was meaningfully and significantly ahead of 2019's record levels and at higher pricing. However, in consistent with the pullback seen by the broader economy and in particular the travel and leisure sector, that summer Delta variant surge resulted in a marked slowdown in our net booking volumes. The impact was heavily weighted to closer in-sailings, particularly for fourth quarter 2021 and first quarter 2022, with the impact lessening sequentially throughout 2022 and beyond. Rather than chase scarce demand during the delta surge by dropping prices, and/or spending marketing funds in a less than optimal manner, we strategically chose to wait for consumer sentiment to rebound, as we have seen direct ebbs and flows in our booking patterns throughout the pandemic coinciding with changes in the public health environment. Throughout this difficult 10-week period, we remain disciplined and continue to hold or even raise pricing, and the outcome is that today, we see both record load and record pricing for the second half of 2022 and for all of 2023.
We are intently focused on the long-term brand positioning and profitability of the Company and are simply not willing to sacrifice pricing in order to increase load factors in the upcoming transitional quarters. As it happened in past surges and as the COVID-19 situation recently improved, we have experienced a rebound in bookings, with net booking volumes improving sequentially over the past six weeks. We believe this improvement will accelerate moving forward at first. Our brands begin to ramp up their demand-generating marketing investments in mid-November, coinciding with Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotion. And second, the much anticipated and expected recovery in the travel agent channel space. And lastly, the approval of vaccines for children ages 5 to 11, which came just last night and will allow for an expanded group of 100% vaccinated guests, especially families, to sail on our brand. Our go-to-market and full vaccination strategy has paid off and drove. And today, our full-year 2022 load factor remains in line with 2019 record levels and at higher pricing, even when including the diluted impact of future cruise credits.
In addition, we are meaningfully better booked for second half of 2022 and full-year 2023 sailings, and at better pricing that at any similar point in time in the past. Our primary focus continues to be on these periods when our fleet is expected to be in full operation and at normalized occupancy levels. and as I mentioned before, just in time to capture the all-important third quarter peak summer season, which traditionally is the most profitable quarter for the industry.
Now, breaking down our book position for full-year 2022 further, more than 55% of bookings are from loyal repeat cruises to our brand. In addition, approximately 75% is comprised of new cash bookings with the remainder comprised of future cruise credit. So far, approximately 60% of the total value of our outstanding SECs have been redeemed. As a reminder, the value added 125% future cruise credits will issue -- will issue -- that we issued at the beginning of the pandemic can only be applied to sailings through year-end 2022, resulting in zero yield dilution when we look to 2023 and beyond. And while still early, booking trends with 2023 as I've -- as I hinted thus far, are also off to an impressive start. Our booking windows continue to be elongated versus historical level, with guests booking further into the future, particularly for the Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand. Case in point in August, Regent set a record for the largest booking day in its 29-year history with the launch of its 2023/2024 voyage collection. Reservations surpassed its previous record by approximately 15%. And while all itineraries were popular, notable destinations of interest were Africa, Asia, and the Baltics, demonstrating our guests continued appetite for long and exotic itineraries.
And in September, the sales launch of just a single ship, Oceania Cruise 's new 1200 passenger Vista, which doesn't debut until April of 2023, set an all-time single day booking record for that brand that surpassed the most recent record set in March of 2021 by nearly 60%. 1/2 of the available inventory for Vista's inaugural season, was sold in a single day, with 30% of bookings coming from new to brand guests. These incredible record-breaking milestones are further proof of the exceptional demand we continue to experience for our brand's unique product offerings from both new and loyal guests alike. Strong future demand in both load factor and pricing is also empirically evidenced in our advanced ticket sales bills.
Our advanced ticket sales increased approximately $500 million on a gross basis in the quarter, equating to an approximately 65% increase versus the prior quarter's fill. In addition, and more importantly, our cash advanced ticket sales for sailings beginning in the second quarter of 2022 and beyond are approximately 45% higher than at the same time for record year 2019. As we move forward with phasing in the rest of our fleet, we expect this tremendous momentum to continue sequentially. Looking to the future of 2022 will also mark an exciting new chapter for our Company as we welcome the first shift in the next class of vessels for Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Prima, in summer of 2022. I just returned from the shipyard in Italy a few weeks ago where I was able to witness firsthand what an evolution, Prima, is for them, the Regent brand, and for the industry at large, which you can see on slide 7. Everything about her was impressive and she has been meticulously designed to elevate the guest experience. Last month, we unveiled Prima 's entertainment lineup, including its interactive headline show, the Tony-award nominated musical Summer, the Donna Summer Musical.
Norwegian Prima will also showcase numerous cruise industry first and new to brand experiences, including the world's first transforming venue that converts from a three-story theater into a Vegas style nightclub, exhilarating freefall drop dry slide, and a tri -level 1200 foot long race track, the largest at sea. The Prima Speedway will be the first ever three level race track and is over 20% larger than that on Norwegian Encore, featuring 14 turns, where drivers can reach speed of nearly 40 miles per hour. Prima's advanced sales continue to impress, even after her record shattering sales debut in May, which set a single best booking day and best initial booking week record, doubling the previous record set by Norwegian Bliss in 2018. And despite the introduction being six weeks later than Norwegian Bliss. Our booking volumes are trending in line with data Bliss the previous fastest selling new builds for the line and a materially higher prices. As you can see on Slide 8, Norwegian Prima is just the first ship to look forward to in our industry-leading growth profile of nine world-class ships coming online to 2027. This new-build will grow our berth count by approximately 40%, adding 24,000 additional berth across our three brands. In 2023 when our fleet is back in full force, we expect our berth capacity to be approximately 20% higher than 2019's pre-pandemic levels. The addition of these new cutting-edge ships will also favorably change our cabin mix as illustrated on slide 9, with premium cabins increasing to approximately 65% of total berth versus approximately 60% today.
In addition to the premium mix of real estate onboard, our new ships have all the bells and whistles, additional streams for onboard revenue generation with new and innovative experiences, and the latest technology to improve efficiency versus our existing fleet. Excitement around new ships is also a significant demand driver and a powerful engine to fuel future yields, EBITDA, cash flow and ROIC growth. It brings new guests to our brand s, and it brings back repeat guests as well, helping us to appeal to every segment that we are targeting. And given our base of only 28 ships in our fleet, we are ready and eager to easily and profitably absorb this new capacity as it will allow us to further diversify our product offerings and penetrate numerous attractive and high potential unserved and underserved markets globally.
The strategic addition of the Prima and Prima Plus Class, for example, which are smaller but more upscale than our previous Breakaway and Breakaway Plus Class at approximately 3,200 berth for the first two Prima Class Ships, and increasing to nearly 3,600 berths for the next four Prima's Plus Class Ships will give us additional bandwidth and flexibility to optimize the deployments that are most profitable and allow the line to continue to manning premium pricing with the right size ship in the right place and at the right time.
And as slide 10 shows, we have historically demonstrated our success and not only absorbing capacity, but translating this capacity growth into outsized revenue, outsized adjusted EBITDA and operating cash flow growth that significantly outpaces the growth in absolute capacity. We fully expect to continue this trend and drive meaningful growth to the top and bottom line with the addition of these exciting new ships.
I'll be back later to provide an update on our ESG efforts, as well as provide the closing remarks. But for now, I'd like to turn the call over to Mark for a financial update.