UK cruise bookings have staged a strong
recovery in latest week and year to date they lag 3% behind of the same point in
time in 2011in the market in the wake of the Costa Concordia disaster, Travel
Weekly reports in an email newsletter.
“Sales of cruises for summer 2012 rose
sharply last week, with industry analyst GfK Ascent reporting a 28% improvement
on the comparable week a year ago. The surge in bookings followed a serious
decline year on year during the preceding three weeks, despite some improvement
at the start of February,” the report said.
“GfK Ascent recorded a 29% fall in cruise
bookings year on year in the week immediately after the tragedy, and a 24%
reduction in the week to January 28 which followed. Sales picked up in the
third week to February 4, but remained 15% down on the comparable period in
“Last week’s surge in bookings appears to
signal a recovery, with the cruise market for the season to date just 3% down
on the same time last year. The sector remains ahead of the summer 2012 holiday
market as a whole, which GfK Ascent reports as 9% down year on year to date.
However, the decline is in line with reduced capacity,” the report said.
Several cruise operators have offered incentives in the UK in the recent past to trigger new bookings in the form of free upgrade to balcony accommodation and generous on board credit etc.
AIDA Cruises, the German unit in Carnival
Corp & plc group, will name the new shiop due to enter service next year
AIDAstella, whule the company will increase the number of sailings from German
ports by extending the season of AIDAsol in Hamburg so that it will run from May
to December, the company said in a statement.
In addition to detailed descriptions of the
destinations, the 2013/2014 catalogue contains a lot of information about
onboard facilities and activities. It also contains a large number of photos
from guests who responded to a call from AIDA and sent in their nicest holiday
snaps. Exciting add-ons are provided by the QR codes, which enable readers to
quickly access videos and other Internet pages. Those who do not want to wait
for the printed version can view the online catalogue or compile their own
individual catalogue at www.aida.de, where destinations and topics can be
selected and then downloaded as a pdf file with just a few clicks of the mouse.
AIDAstella is the name of the ship that
will set course on its maiden voyage through Northern Europe on 17 March 2013,
following its christening ceremony. It will also spend its premiere season in
northern climes, embarking on two-week cruises from Hamburg starting in May. In
winter, AIDAstella will visit the fascinating world of the Canary Islands.
AIDA Cruises is further expanding its
Northern European program in the 2013/2014 season, with the Rostock-based
company offering cruises from Hamburg on AIDAsol for the first time from May to
December. Also new is the 4-day city tour on AIDAstella, which takes guests
from Hamburg to Amsterdam and London in March and April. In addition to the
10-day alternative, the popular Baltic Sea cruise will now also be offered as a
1-week trip. In future, globetrotters too can embark on great adventures from
just outside their front door, e.g. from Warnemünde to New York on AIDAbella or
from Hamburg to Buenos Aires on AIDAcara. In all, there will be six AIDA ships
travelling on 34 different routes from Hamburg, Kiel and Warnemünde.
AIDA passengers can discover new ground in
Northern Europe at Ísafjörður in Iceland as well as Klaksvik on the Faroe
Islands and on the southern coast of England, the Isle of Portland will be
visited by an AIDA ship for the very first time. From Le Verdon and Brest on
the Atlantic coast of France, guests can embark on excursions to Brittany and
the region of Bordeaux while, from the Portuguese port of Leixões, guests can
visit the home of Port wine. The Dutch port city of IJmuiden, the Malaysian
island of Langkawi and the Caribbean island St. Kitts are likewise new additions
to the program.
In addition, AIDA guests can look forward
to a greater choice of cruises in the Adriatic. From April to October, there
will be four different routes to Venice, Dubrovnik and Zadar, while AIDAaura
will set course from Antalya through the Bosporus and on to the Black Sea. The
routes in the western and eastern Mediterranean are also a must in the AIDA
program, of course. The cruises on offer range from short 3-day trips starting
from Palma de Mallorca to 2-week voyages giving guests ample opportunity to
explore and experience the relaxing way of life in the Mediterranean. AIDAaura
will also set course for the Black Sea region again between June and August.
Those drawn to far-off places will find an
extensive range of cruises to the USA and Canada, the islands of the Caribbean,
as well as Brazil and further to Cape Horn, while AIDAmar, AIDAdiva and
AIDAaura head for the mysterious and fascinating world of the East. Their
cruises through the Red Sea, the Orient and Southeast Asia include such exotic
destinations as Luxor, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok.
And it pays to book early, with an Early
Booker Plus discount of up to €450 for the first and second person in the
cabin. The allocation is limited, though, so be quick. And another first: AIDA is now offering the new X season as a particularly economical period to travel
on a large number of cruises.
NCL Corporation, the Bermuda domiciled parent of
Norwegian Cruise Lines and NCL America, reduced net loss in fourth quarter
2011 to $1.9 million from $40.0 million in the same period last year, while
revenues increased to $488.6 million from $483.6 million. However, full year
net profit soared to $126.9 million from $23.0 million in 2010 on a 10% rise in
revenues that reached $2.20 billion, the company said in a statement.
President and CEO Kevin Sheehan did not give
guidance for this year, but referred to investments ion both new tonnage and upgrades
to the existing product and stated: ”. These investments in developing our assets,
improving our travel agent relationships and enhancing the guest experience
will provide benefits in 2012 and onward.”
Operating income for the year ended December 31,
2011 increased 37.1% to $316.1 million from $230.6 million in 2010. Net Revenue
for the year increased 10.8% primarily due to the addition of Norwegian Epic to
the fleet in June 2010 along with a 3.0% increase in Net Yield, or 2.4% on a
constant currency basis. The improvement in Net Yield came primarily from
higher ticket pricing as well as increased onboard spend per Capacity Day.
Adjusted EBITDA for the year increased 24.9% to $506.0 million from $405.1 million
in 2010 and revenue increased 10.3% to $2.2 billion from $2.0 billion.
business improvement initiatives resulted in a 1.8% decrease in Net Cruise Cost
per Capacity Day, or 2.0% on a constant currency basis. Fuel price per metric
ton remained elevated versus prior year increasing 14.2% to $571 from $500 in
2010. Excluding fuel, Net Cruise Cost per Capacity Day decreased 4.4%, or 4.7%
on a constant currency basis.
Interest expense, net of capitalized interest,
increased to $190.2 million from $173.8 million due to a full year of interest
on the debt related to Norwegian Epic along with higher average interest rates.
Other income was $0.9 million versus an expense of $34.0 million in 2010, which
included a non-recurring charge of $33.1 million related to foreign exchange
contracts associated with the financing of Norwegian Epic.
As far as the final quarter of 2011 is concerned, adjusted
EBITDA in the quarter increased 38.7% to $88.3 million from $63.6 million in
2010. This improvement was a result of an increase in Net Revenue to $361.8
million from $355.2 million and a decrease in Net Cruise Cost to $274.8 million
from $292.5 million in 2010. A 2.5% increase in Net Yield, the same on a
constant currency basis, as a result of improved pricing and higher onboard
spend per Capacity Day drove the increase in Net Revenue. Net Cruise Cost per
Capacity Day decreased 5.4%, or 5.8% on a constant currency basis, due to lower
dry-dock costs and more normalized repairs and maintenance costs and other
operating expenses. The price of fuel in the quarter increased 15.8% to $573
per metric ton from $495 in 2010.
Interest expense, net of capitalized interest,
decreased to $45.8 million in the quarter from $54.7 million primarily due to a
write-off of certain deferred financing fees in 2010.
Net loss for
the quarter narrowed to $1.9 million on revenue of $488.6 million versus a loss
of $40.0 million on revenue of $483.6 million in 2010.