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Seabourn signs contract for two 23,000 gross tons expedition ships with Mariotti Damen

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Seabourn Cruise Line, the luxury market unit in the Carnival Corporation & plc group, said it has signed a Letter of Intent for the construction of two ultra-luxury expedition ships with a new partnership between shipbuilders T.Mariotti and Damen, who will collaborate on the construction of the vessels under a common name Mariotti Damen Cruise.

The first delivery is expected in June 2021 and the second ship is anticipated in May 2022. The 170 metre, 23,000 gross ton vessels will add new capacity for Seabourn in Antarctica, the Arctic, and other exotic destinations around the world while meeting PC6 Polar Class standards. Each will feature 132 oceanfront veranda suites, which will be home for up to 264 guests.

"This is a groundbreaking moment for Seabourn and for luxury travelers, who will now find a new standard of authentic yet luxurious expedition adventures in new and amazing destinations few people will ever see," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "The combination of immersive experience, fine accommodations, and sumptuous amenities offered by these new ships builds on the success of our current product lineup and further demonstrates our leadership as innovators as we continue offering the finest ultra-luxury cruises available."

A new and exciting offering will be two submarines carried onboard, providing an unforgettable view of the world beneath the ocean's surface. The ships will also be designed to carry a complement of kayaks and 24 Zodiac inflatable boats, which have operated as a part of the highly successful Ventures by Seabourn program offered in select destinations around the world, Sebourn said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, T. Mariotti, leading Italian luxury cruise shipbuilding company, and Damen Shipyards Group of the Nerherlands said in a separate statement they have formed a partnership to build cruise vessels. T. Mariotti, which will celebrate its 90th anniversary this year, has a long-standing reputation within the cruise industry.

Damen, which celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2017, operates in different sectors across the maritime industry and has recently announced its intention to move into the cruise market. The partnership between the two companies is a complementary fusion of expertise and facilities that will focus on the construction of cruise vessels.

This partnership will operate under a new common brand, Mariotti Damen Cruise. As the two companies made their announcement, ultra-luxury cruise line Seabourn made public the signature of a letter of intent for two ultra-luxury expedition vessels with the newly-formed partnership.

Mariotti Managing Director Marco Ghiglione said: “We are very pleased to work together with Damen on the construction of newbuild cruise vessels as both Mariotti and Damen share a common vision of the future of the cruise industry. This long-term partnership will offer our current and prospective clients access to a comprehensive suite of shipbuilding services and capabilities in terms of high quality, sustainable vessels demanded by the cruise industry of tomorrow.”

Oriana to leave P&O Cruises’ fleet in August 2019, company to to launch guest experience programme

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

P&O Cruises, the UK focused contemporary market unit of Carnival Corporation & plc, said that the 1995 built Oriana of 69,840 gross tons would leave its fleet in August 2019.

It is the smallest and oldest unit in the seven strong fleet of the company. In the summer of 2020, the first of two180,000 gross ton newbuildings is due to enter service, followed by another one in 2022.

At the same time, P&O Cruises has launched a guest experience programme will cover three key areas of investment in shore excursions, dining and entertainment across mid-sized ships Arcadia and Aurora and Oceana as well as the larger ships Britannia, Azura and Ventura.

Aurora will be refitted next spring, prior to her re-launch as a ship exclusively for adults, when new cabins will be added as well as fixtures, fittings, soft furnishings and enhancements to public spaces throughout the ship.

P&O Cruises senior vice president, Paul Ludlow, said: “With the introduction of Iona in 2020 followed by a similar ship two years later, it is also imperative that we continue to elevate the standards of the rest of the fleet."

“Our research with current and prospective guests shows that their holidays need to give them a vital boost to their everyday lives – they tell us that they want ‘to live life at ‘100%.' Cruising today is perceived as a contemporary and aspirational holiday yet it is still one which has very small penetration in the holiday market as a whole. Our vision is to break these barriers by listening to feedback from our loyal guests whilst expanding the audience of new cruisers."

“The additions will include new excursions across our itineraries, new dazzling theatre shows and daytime activities which reflect today’s trends. We will be investing in Aurora’s refit next year; Food Hero Eric Lanlard has devised an entirely new afternoon tea for all the ships, which will be very special, as well as refreshed menus and cocktails across the fleet,” Ludlow said in a statement.

Rollout of these enhancements will coincide with the departure of Oriana from the fleet in August 2019.

Ludlow added: “Oriana is an original, and a much loved P&O Cruises ship.  Whilst we will miss her, her departure will allow us to focus on our remaining mid-sized and larger ships as the fleet expands with Iona and her sister ship in 2020 and 2022 respectively.

“Oriana will be with us until August next year so there will be plenty of opportunity to celebrate her time with us.  Those guests who have sailed on Oriana will then be able to enjoy holidays on Aurora and Arcadia, both of which are exclusively for adults and have a very similar on board feel, and experience the re-vitalisation taking place over the next year.”

Ludlow continued: “Detail is everything. It may be exhilaration from exploring an off the beaten track port, experiencing local flavours and cultures, having an evening of wine-tasting, dancing until the early hours to a great band, the freshest seafood lunch on shore or the perfect espresso martini before dinner. It is an escape from busy lives and allows guests to have indulgent time to themselves which will literally give them boosted vitality and memories to last until the next holiday.”

A special final sailing on Oriana will be announced shortly. Further details of the new guest experiences will be announced over the next year.

Carnival shares dive in London and New York after forex, fuel cost rise warning

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Shares in the Carnival group holding companies fell almost 10% in London and New York after the company had published strong interims, but warned of a significant increase in foreign exchange and fuel costs.

At 1530 UK time /1030 NewYork time, shares in Carnival plc, the UK domiciled company in the dual listed structure of the group, traded 8.75% lower at £43.22 on the London Stock Exchange. At the same time in New York, Carnival Corporation that is domiciled in Panama but managed from the US, had lost 9.54% to $57.42.

The principal stock indices both in London and New York had lost ground earlier in their respective sessions on renewed fears over trade wars.

Carnival increases forecast of fuel and forex bill to $ 0.19 per share

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Carnival Corporation & plc, the Anglo-American cruise shipping group, has increased its forecast for the negative impact of fuel and foreign exchange costs for the rest of itsfinancial year.

Changes in fuel prices, including realised fuel derivatives and currency exchange rates are expected to decrease earnings by $0.19 per share compared to March guidance and $0.13 per share compared to the prior year, the company said.

 “At this time, cumulative advanced bookings for the next three quarters are in line with the prior year at higher prices. Since March, booking volumes for the next three quarters have been running slightly ahead of prior year at prices that are in line with the prior year,” Carnival Corporation & plc said in a statement.

Arnold Donald, President and Chief Executive Officer said in the statement: "Strong operational results coupled with sustained strength in booking trends have mitigated the unfavorable $0.19 per share impact of fuel and currency moving against us since our last update.”

“We remain on track to deliver double digit return on invested capital in 2018. In addition, we have accelerated returns to shareholders through our recent dividend increase, with annual dividend distributions now over $1.4 billion and the reauthorisation of up to $1 billion in share repurchases." The company invested over $375 million in share repurchases since the beginning of the quarter, bringing the cumulative total of repurchases to date to over $3.7 billion since late 2015.

 

Based on current booking trends, the company now expects full year 2018 net revenue yields in constant currency to be up approximately 3.0 percent compared to the prior year, better than March guidance of up approximately 2.5 percent. The company still expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency compared to the prior year to be up approximately 1.0 percent, in line with March guidance.

Carnival Corporation & plc interims firm as demand growth outpaced supply expansion

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping group, has reported a rise in both net and operating results for the second quarter and first half of its financial year on strong demand.

Group net profit rose to $561 million in three months to 31 May from $379 million in the same period year on, while operating result (EBIT) rose to $559 million from $500 million. Revenues rose to $4.36 billion from $3.95 billion.

In the first six months of its financial year, Carnival reported a rise in net profit to $961 million from $730 million and in EBIT to $978 million from $868 million. Revenues increased to $8.56 billion from $7.74 billion.

Arnold Donald, President and Chief Executive Officer said in a statement: "We delivered another strong quarter, again achieving record adjusted earnings on record revenues and exceeding the high end of our guidance range. Strong operational execution drove a 30% increase in adjusted earnings affirming the strength of our core strategy to create demand that outpaces measured capacity growth through outstanding guest experience efforts coupled with innovative actions to increase consideration for cruising across all global markets."

Adjusted net income excludes unrealized gains and losses on fuel derivatives and other net charges, totaling $72 million in net gains for the second quarter of 2018 and $1 million in net gains for the second quarter of 2017

Key information for the second quarter of 2018 compared to the second quarter of 2017:

Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or "ALBD") increased 8.8 percent. In constant currency, net revenue yields increased 4.8 percent exceeding March guidance of up 2.5 to 3.5 percent.

Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD increased 8.2 percent. In constant currency, net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD increased 3.6 percent, better than March guidance of up 4.0 to 5.0 percent, principally due to the timing of expenses between quarters.

Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates increased earnings by $0.01 per share.

Highlights from the second quarter include the delivery of Carnival Cruise Line's 26th ship in its fleet, Carnival Horizon in March 2018. Additionally, in April 2018 Seabourn took delivery of the 5th all-suite ship in its ultra luxury fleet, Seabourn Ovation.

As a result of the strong guest response to sailings to Cuba, Carnival Cruise Line received approval for more than 20 additional calls, bringing the total to 40 calls to Cuba in 2019, departing from home-ports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Charleston. Also during the quarter, Carnival Cruise Line unveiled the largest, most technologically advanced operations center in the cruise industry. Carnival Corporation & plc increased its quarterly dividend from $0.45 to $0.50 and replenished the share repurchase program to $1 billion.

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