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NCLH says strong demand continues for all three brands 

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH), the world’s third largest cruise shipping group, said that its three brands – Norwegian Cruise Line in the contemporary market, Oceania Cruises in the premium sector and Regent Seven Seas in the luxury segment – continue to enjoy strong demand.

“The strong global demand for our portfolio of brands which we experienced during 2017 has continued, as demonstrated by the successful, record-breaking launch of Norwegian Bliss, which entered the fleet as the best booked Norwegian Cruise Line newbuild in the history of our company,” said Mark Kempa, interim chief financial officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., in a statement. 

“While our primary focus continues to be to delever to the low three times by year-end 2018, our recently announced $1 billion share repurchase program reflects our ongoing confidence in our financial position and the long-term strength of our business as well as our commitment to provide meaningful capital returns to our shareholders.”

The company slightly increased its 2018 earnings per share (EPS) guidance, to $4.55-$4.70 from an earlier guidance of $4.45-$4.65.

NCLH first quarter net profit rises to $103.1 million on strong pricing, capacity growth 

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH), the world’s third largest cruise shipping group, has reported a rise in first quarter net profit to $103.1 million from $61.9 million year on.

Revenues rose to $1.29 billion from $1.15 billion and operating profit (EBIT) reached $167.0 million compared to $119.7 million year on. Earnings per share rose to $0.45 from $0.27 under US GAAP.

The improvements were primarily attributed to strong organic pricing growth across all core markets along with an increase in capacity days due to the addition of Norwegian Joy to the fleet, the company said in a statement.

“The year is off to an impressive start with yet another record quarter of earnings, which exceeded expectations," said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of NCLH

“The 2018 Wave Season was stellar and has further strengthened our overall future booked position with load factor and pricing continuing to be well ahead of prior year for the remaining quarters of 2018 and throughout 2019,” he said in a statement.

Revenue increased 12.4% to $1.3 billion compared to $1.2 billion in 2017.  Net revenue increased 13.1% to $1.0 billion compared to $0.9 billion in 2017. Capacity days due to the addition of Norwegian Joy to the fleet.  Gross yield increased 1.4% and Net yield increased 1.0% on a constant currency basis and 2.0% on an as reported basis.

Total cruise operating expense increased 6.7% in 2018 compared to 2017 primarily due to an increase in capacity days.  Gross cruise costs per capacity day decreased 1.5% due to a decrease in maintenance and repairs including dry dock expenses partially offset by an increase in marketing, general and administrative expenses. 

Adjusted net cruise cost excluding fuel per capacity day decreased 2.7% on a constant currency basis and 2.1% on an as reported basis. Fuel price per metric ton, net of hedges decreased to $448 from $453 in 2017.  The company reported fuel expense of $93.4 million in the period.

Viking Cruises to operate a record-breaking World Cruise

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Viking Cruises today announced its most comprehensive itinerary to date with the new Ultimate World Cruise, which will span 245 days, six continents, 59 countries and 113 ports, with 22 port overnights and a full circumnavigation of the globe – making it the longest-ever continuous world cruise itinerary.

Departing from London on August 31, 2019 on Viking Sun, this grand eight-month journey will mark Viking’s third voyage around the globe and will nearly double the length of the company’s previous World Cruise itineraries. Within the 245-day Ultimate World Cruise itinerary, Viking will also offer guests an option to sail one of two shorter segments during the cruise. Guest can choose between Viking World Treasures, a 127-day sailing from London to Los Angeles that visits 33 countries and 61 ports, or Viking World Wonders, a 119-day journey from Los Angeles to London that visits 29 countries and 55 ports. As with all Viking itineraries, guests receive a complimentary shore excursion in each port and free unlimited Wi-Fi; World Cruise guests also receive Business Class airfare and all gratuities and service fees, along with an extensive list of added-value included features in their cruise fare.

“For more than 20 years we have been offering guests the most culturally immersive journeys available in the industry and we are pleased to announce the most extensive itinerary in our history,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “Our World Cruises offer guests the rare opportunity to unpack once and explore dozens of the best destinations on earth – at a value that is unprecedented in the travel industry.”

Ultimate World Cruise highlights

Viking’s Ultimate World Cruise visits dozens of legendary cities, charming ports and idyllic islands in one epic journey. Included excursions in every port allow guests to immerse themselves in the world’s cultures, and The Viking Way of exploration offers additional, optional excursions that provide unmatched insight into Local Life, Working World and offer Privileged Access visits to cultural institutions. Overnight stays in 22 cities allow guests to delve deeper into destinations; and Viking’s Culture Curriculum® offers additional enrichment on board with regional entertainment and lectures, as well as learning opportunities as part of the Viking Resident program. Full details on the Ultimate World Cruise can be found on Viking’s website here; highlights include:

– Greenwich: London at Your Door – Dock in the historic Royal Borough of Greenwich, London, which allows guests easy access to the regal capital’s iconic sights, including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

– Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Peak of Brazilian Culture – One of the 22 overnight stays on this itinerary occurs in the historic city of Rio de Janeiro, where guests can witness the larger-than-life Christ the Redeemer statue or relax on the scenic Copacabana and Ipanema beaches of this coastal metropolis.

– Ushuaia, Argentina: “End of the World” – Commonly referred to as the “End of the World,” guests will visit Ushuaia, a city perched on a steep hill on the southernmost tip of South America, and explore its lush scenery through excursions to the nearby Escondido and Fagnano Lakes or the Tierra del Fuego National Park, which was first inhabited by humans 10,000 years ago.

– Hobart, Tasmania: An Island of History and Wilderness — The capitol of Australia’s island state of Tasmania, Hobart offers guests the chance to learn about its aborigine history and explore its unique wilderness area, including Mt. Wellington, which the city is nestled under.

– Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Vibrant Saigon – This eclectic city, home to a mix of modern skyscrapers, French colonial buildings and ornate palaces, offers a variety of experiences for guests, including the Cu Chi Tunnels, the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Reunification Palace.

– Mumbai, India: The Front Door to India – The bustling city of Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. While in port, guests can learn about the iconic activist Gandhi at the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum and visit the Hanging Gardens, one of the prized few parks found in the busy metropolis.

– Luxor, Egypt: Temples and Tombs – The site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, Luxor is dense with historical monuments for guests to explore, including the Temple of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings & Valley of the Queens, which house the tombs of the Pharaohs and their wives.

– Eight All-New Ports in South America – Guests will visit eight all-new Viking ports while in South America, including Roseau, Dominica, two ports in Chile (La Serena (Coquimbo) and Iquique), three ports in Peru (Arequipa (Matarani), Pisco (General San Martín) and Lima (Callao)) and finally guests will explore Quito (Manta), Ecuador and Panama City (Fuerte Amador), Panama.

Fincantieri delivers Seabourn Ovation

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Seabourn took delivery of its newest ship, Seabourn Ovation, on Friday during an official handover ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, Italy. Seabourn Ovation is the fifth ship in the line’s award-winning fleet and the newest ultra-luxury ship in the industry.

“We are delighted to take delivery of Seabourn Ovation, offering yet another reason for luxury travelers around the world to choose us for their next holiday,” said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “It has been an incredible journey to see the ship come to life, and the Fincantieri team has done a fantastic job in the construction of the ship. The combination of Adam Tihany’s design vision and Fincantieri’s fine craftsmanship have resulted in yet another stunning creation. We are very proud to welcome her to the Seabourn family.”

Said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri: “It has been a great honor for all of us at Fincantieri to work with the Seabourn and Carnival Corporation teams to bring to life such a beautiful ship that in many ways is a true work of art. There was an extraordinary level of luxury elements and complexity involved in the construction of Seabourn Ovation, and as always our team of world-class ship builders rose to the occasion. It is with much pride that we hand over a ship that sets the new standard in ultra-luxury cruising, and it is exciting that Seabourn guests from around the world will soon be enjoying wonderful cruise holidays on this magnificent luxury vessel.”

Seabourn Ovation will expand and build on the line’s award-winning and highly acclaimed Odyssey-class ships, which revolutionized ultra-luxury cruising with enhanced accommodations and innovative amenities when they were introduced between 2009 and 2011. A sister ship to Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Ovation features 300 all-oceanfront suites and maintain the line’s high ratio of space per guest, enabling highly personalized service.

Seabourn Ovation was fashioned by notable hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany with contemporary interiors, modern design elements, and innovations consistent with Seabourn’s reputation for understated elegance. Tihany’s vision has delivered the world’s finest ultra-luxury resort that happens to traverse the oceans of the world. The new ship will round out the current planned expansion of the line’s award-winning and highly acclaimed newest and most consistent fleet in the ultra-luxury segment.

The all-suite ship will offer a number of desirable in-suite amenities to provide guests with a “home away from home” onboard experience. In every luxurious suite will be a private veranda, providing sweeping oceanfront views and spacious enough for private al fresco dining. Featuring striking design and sophisticated décor, each suite will include a comfortable living area with sofa seating and a desk/dining table; elegant bedding; a walk-in closet; in-suite entertainment options with a wide selection of movies, music, broadcast television and radio channels; and a superbly-appointed marble bathroom with separate bath and shower and luxury bath products, including the exclusive Seabourn Signature Scents by Molton Brown. A personal bar and refrigerator will be stocked according to guest preferences, coordinated before arrival.

Guests who sail on Seabourn Ovation will also find a number of innovative offerings and programs, including partnerships with a select group of companies and individuals whose dedication to superior quality, exceptional service and consistent customer satisfaction matches Seabourn. These programs include ‘An Evening with Tim Rice’, the evening entertainment experience created exclusively for the line in association with Belinda King Creative Productions; Spa and Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, offering guests a holistic spa and wellness experience that integrates physical, social, environmental and spiritual well-being; and The Grill by Thomas Keller, reminiscent of the classic American restaurant from the 50’s and 60’s. Exclusive to Seabourn, The Grill is a unique culinary concept for Chef Keller, focusing on updated versions of iconic dishes. Guests will be treated to table-side preparations of Caesar salad and ice cream sundaes, as well as a range of other favorites like premium steaks, whole roasted chicken, and Lobster Thermidor, presented à la carte.

Seabourn Ovation will begin her maiden season with an 11-night inaugural voyage departing May 5, 2018, from Venice, Italy, to Barcelona, Spain. The ship’s naming ceremony will take place on Friday, May 11, in the beautiful baroque harbour of Valletta, Malta. One of the world’s highly-acclaimed actresses and singers, Elaine Paige, will serve as godmother and will name the ship during a spectacular ceremony that will light up the dramatic UNESCO World Heritage site and the 2018 European Capital of Culture.

The ship will spend the majority of its maiden season cruising the waters of Northern Europe, offering a series of 7-night Baltic and Scandinavian sailings between Copenhagen and Stockholm. Seabourn Ovation will also sail on longer 14-night voyages, visiting the majestic Norwegian fjords and British Isles providing an experience like none other.

MSC Cruises 2017 net profit fell to €311 million

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

MSC Cruises, the Geneva based privately owned cruise shipping company, reported a fall in net profit last year to €311 million from €338 million in the previous year, the company said in its 2017 annual report.

Revenues increased to €2.28 billion from €1.95 billion and operating profit increased to €367 million from €338 million.

Net yield rose to €134 per passenger and day from €127 in 2016, while net cruise costs excluding fuel increased to €78 from €74.

The group’s assets totaled at €6.82 billion at the end of last year, an increase from €5.54 billion a year earlier. Equity increased to €1.73 billion from €1.39 billion, while debt rose to €3.98 billion from €3.05 billion.

“Our overall capacity increased by 8.3%, from 11.4 million to 12.4 million Available Lower Berth Days, as a result of the deliveries of MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside during 2017.

In 2017, we were close to hitting the milestone of welcoming 2 million passengers, an increase of 9.0% compared to the previous year. Our ship occupancy achieved 111.0% remaining in line with the year before,” the company said.

CBR 1/2018 CONTENTS

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