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Greater individuality among mega trends cruise ship designers have to focus on - Kulovaara

Mega trends that change the way how we live, work and spend our holidays will influence design cruise ships of the future, said Harri Kulovaara, EVP Maritime at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL), the world's second largest cruise shipping company.

A mega trend towards greater individuality will be a major factor that designers of ships of the future will have to take into account. In practise, this will result e.g. in greater focus on learning and on health, he stated.

"When we design a ship today, we need to think ahead as it will have a life span of 30 years. Mega trends that affect personal needs and desires are very important in this respect. For example, boundaries between work and leisure time will be increasingly blurred in the future," Kulovaara told Cruise Business Online.

Meanwhile, Teijo Niemela, editor of Cruise Business Review, says that on its new Quantum of the Seas, the RCCL group's contemporary market unit Royal Caribbean International offers a package that allows a passenger to have one device constantly connected to the Internet for $160 for the duration of the entire eight night crossing from Southampton to Cape Liberty, New Jersey. The ship sailed from the UK port on Sunday.

 

NYK's cruise operations continue to improve results

The cruise shipping operations of Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), the Japanese shipping giant, have continued to improve their performance in the first half of the company's financial year.

Recurring profit more than doubled to JPY2.5 billion in six months to 30 September from JPY1.1 billion in the same period a year earlier. Revenues increased to JPY26.1 billion from JPY24.0 billion

"The load factors and sales per customer improved year on year for both Crystal Cruises in North America and Asuka Cruises in Japan. As a result, sales increased and the segment logged higher revenues and profit compared with the same period of the previous year," the company said in a statement.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines returns to profit in strong recovery

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, the UK based operator of four medium sized vessels, has returned to the black in the third quarter of the year on less discounting on the British market, parent company Bonheur ASA said in a statement.

Net profit in the third quarter amounted to NOK44 million compared to a loss of NOK12 million in the same period last year. Revenues increased to NOK474 million from NOK395 million.

In the first nine months of the current year, the company cut its net loss to NOK57 million from NOK100 million a year before, while revenues increased to NOK1.27 billion from NOK1.12 billion.

"The UK cruise market is still in a weak condition, but compared to the same quarter last year, with less price discounting. The number of passenger days totaled 322 175 (323 831) for the quarter. Net ticket income per diem was 4.5 % higher compared to the corresponding quarter last year. Bunker prices have decreased in the quarter," Bonheur said.

 

Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill to retire

Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, announced today that he is retiring, effective November 30, after 20 years of service.

Cahill, 63, has been CEO of Carnival Corporation’s largest cruise brand since 2007, growing the cruise line to 24 ships – the largest in the company’s fleet -- during his tenure.

“Gerry has been instrumental in taking Carnival Cruise Lines to new heights as one of the preeminent brands in the cruise industry,” said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise company. “He and his team have delivered new innovations to cruising while growing the business year after year.”

During his tenure as CEO, Cahill and his team launched four new ships and introduced a new class of ships, the Dream class, which included the Carnival Dream, one of the largest ships in the company’s fleet, as well as Carnival Magic and Carnival Breeze with its many new branded spaces and experiences.  

Cahill and his team also oversaw the delivery of new cruising features such as the innovative Fun Ship 2.0 ship enhancements and Carnival LIVE concert series, a first in the cruise industry, as well the Carnival Seuss at Sea program, an exclusive partnership that brought the beloved Dr. Seuss children’s brand and characters to its ships. He and his team also developed partnerships with major brands to offer passengers popular on-board features, such as celebrity chef Guy Fieri for Guy’s Burger Joint and comedian and TV personality George Lopez for The Punchliner Comedy Club.

"I can’t thank Gerry enough for his tireless efforts both as CFO of Carnival Corporation and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines,” said Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc. "While we would always feel his retiring is premature, we understand and support his decision. His leadership and passion, along with his honest and frank views will be missed, and we will always have a deep appreciation for Gerry’s tremendous contributions to Carnival Corporation.”

No replacement for Cahill is being named at this point. Cahill has agreed to stay on in an advisory capacity for an unspecified time to provide advice and counsel to the leadership team through the transition period.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead Carnival Cruise Lines for the past seven years and to work for this great company for 20 years,” said Cahill. "Deciding when to retire is not easy, especially when you love what you do. I feel the time is good for me personally and the company and brand are in a good place. Our employees are the finest, most dedicated people I know, and the thing I will miss most in my retirement is the opportunity to come to the office each day and work with such talented individuals.”

Cahill joined Carnival Corporation in 1994 as vice president – finance, and in January 1998 was promoted to senior vice president – finance and chief financial officer.

Before joining Carnival, Cahill spent six years with Safecard Services, Inc., a NYSE-listed company, where he served first as chief financial officer and then as chief operating officer. From 1979 to 1988, Cahill held financial posts at Resorts International, Inc., and prior to that spent six years with Price Waterhouse.

Cahill graduated from the University of Miami, earning his B.B.A. degree in 1973.

Norwegian posts strong rise in third quarter and nine month profit

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the Nasdaq listed cruise shipping group, has posted a strong increase in net profit for both the third quarter and first nine months of the year and it is on track to achieve its 2014 growth target.

In the third quarter, net profit rose to $201.0 million from $170.8 million, while revenues rose to $907.0 million from $797.0 million.

For the January-September period, the company reported a rise in net profit to $363.9 million from $65.2 million in the same period last year, when financial items had depressed the bottom line. Revenues rose to $2.34 billion from $1.96 billion, the company said in a statement.

"Our results this quarter mark an important milestone in Norwegian's evolution as we report growth in trailing twelve month Adjusted EBITDA for the 25th consecutive quarter coupled with our consistent margin improvement," said Kevin Sheehan, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

"In that more than six year period, Norwegian's Adjusted EBITDA has grown at an industry-leading compound annual growth rate of 23% with a commensurate margin expansion of over 1,600 basis points to 27.6%, with future expansion expected as we continue to successfully execute on our strategies," continued Sheehan.

In addition to the results for the third quarter, the company also provided the following guidance for the fourth quarter and full year 2014, along with accompanying sensitivities. This guidance excludes the impacts from the acquisition of Prestige Cruises which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.

"We are confident that we will achieve our target of over 60% growth in full year Adjusted EPS that we established at the beginning of the year. This achievement will once again demonstrate our resilience and ability to deliver consistent financial performance despite the external headwinds that occurred throughout the year," said Sheehan.

Viking Star