Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited yesterday reported record booking levels for 2018 on the back of a strong wave season start to the year.

Net profits for the first three months of the year rose to $232.8 million from $214.7 million in the same peak booking period last year.

The company’s 2018 booked position is better than last year’s record high and ahead in both volume and rate. All core products are generally in line with previous expectations, RCCL said.

Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive of the cruise giant which includes Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity

Cruises, Azamara Club Crusies and a share in Tui Cruises, said: “This year is proving to be another strong year with all our brands firing on all cylinders.

“The market continues to support our growth as our people keep focused on delivering our targets and goals.

“The strength of this market plus our new ships in 2018 – Symphony of the Seas, Azamara Pursuit, Mein Schiff 1 and Celebrity Edge – position us nicely for 2019 as well.”

Chief financial officer Jason Liberty added: “We are delighted to report another record breaking quarter and to be driving towards record earnings for the year, above our initial guidance.

“Revenues continue to excel and expenses, even including some new demand generating initiatives, continue to be carefully controlled.”