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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings reports rise in interims on strong Western Hemisphere markets

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the world’s third largest cruise shipping company, has reported a rise in third quarter and nine month interims on strong demand cruises in the Western Hemisphere.

Group net profit rose to $251.8 million in the third quarter from $201.0 million in the same period last year, Revenues increased to $1.28 billion from $907.0 million. All figures were also boosted by the acquisition of Prestige Cruise Holdings late last year.

In the nine months to 30 September, net profit rose to $388.8 million from $363.9 million, while revenues increased to $3.30 billion from $2.34 billion.

On a combined company basis, which compares current results against the combined results of Norwegian and Prestige in the prior year, Adjusted Net Yield increased 2.2%, (4.7% on a Constant Currency basis), reflecting improved pricing in the quarter which was driven by strength in the Caribbean, Bermuda and Alaska itineraries, partially offset by softness in certain Eastern Mediterranean itineraries.

“The continued momentum from our revenue enhancement strategies resulted in net yield growth of approximately 5% driving strong earnings performance in the quarter,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) in a statement.

 “What is most impressive is that this yield performance was driven purely by organic growth, demonstrating that robust topline growth need not be predicated solely on the addition of new ships to our fleet.”

Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) increased 22% over prior year to $1.35and was at the top end of the Company’s guidance range, benefiting from solid Net Yield performance. On a GAAP basis, net income was $251.8 million, or $1.09 per share compared to $201.1 million or $0.97 per share in the prior year.

Adjusted Net Yield improved 19.8% (22.7% on a Constant Currency basis) mainly due to the acquisition of Prestige Cruise Holdings, which occurred in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Carnival and ABB in $60 million Azipod deal

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

ABB, the Swiss-Swedish power and automation technology group, has won a repeat order worth $60 million to deliver complete electrical power plants and Azipod XO fuel-saving electric propulsion systems for Carnival Corporation´s two new cruise vessels, ABB said in a statement.

ABB`s delivery will also include generators, main switchboards, a remote control system and distribution transformers. Azipod propulsion is a gearless steerable propulsion system where the electric drive motor is in a submerged pod outside the ship’s hull. It improves safety, fuel efficiency and is the most environmentally friendly propulsion system.

The ships, to be built by Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, will sail under Carnival Corporation’s brands Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line. The new vessel for Holland America Line will be a sister ship to Koningsdam, currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard. The vessel will have a gross tonnage of 99,500 tons, accommodate up to 2,650 passengers and will be delivered in Q4/2018. Carnival Cruise Line´s new, 3,954-passenger vessel will be a sister ship to Carnival Vista and it is the 26th ship in the cruise operator’s fleet. The delivery for this new ship is scheduled for Q1/2018.

"These beautiful new ships on order from Fincantieri signify our ongoing commitment to provide the best possible guest experience across our industry-leading brands," said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation. "New ships with the latest features, accommodations and innovations really bring the modern cruise experience to life and will help us continue to grow new demand for cruising."

“We are pleased to continue our collaboration with Fincantieri, which is known as one of the world’s leading cruise ship builders. Longstanding customer relationships with leading shipyards such as Fincantieri are testament to our continued dedication to quality and customer value,” says Heikki Soljama, managing director for ABB’s Marine and Ports business.

The collaboration between ABB and Fincantieri spans over 25 years: ABB’s first electric propulsion delivery to Fincantieri was for a Carnival cruise ship in 1990. Since then, 14 ships built by Fincantieri have been equipped with ABB’s Azipod propulsion. Twenty-four of Carnival Corporation’s ships are equipped with Azipod propulsion.

Crystal Cruises orders two more river yachts, purchases MS Mozart to start operations year early in 2016

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Crystal Cruises, the Los Angeles based luxury cruise line owned by the Genting Hong Kong group, says it has doubled the number of river cruise yachts on order to four and acquired the MS Mozart, Europe's largest river cruise vessel, to start operations next year, one year ahead of previously announced plans.

President and CEO Edie Rodriguez announced today four newly built Crystal river yachts – twice the originally planned deployment – have been ordered for delivery in 2017 from the German shipyard Lloyd Werft. "Additionally, due to travelers and agents strong demand for an earlier Crystal river experience, Crystal has also completed the purchase of the German built MS Mozart, the largest river cruise vessel in Europe. Following an extensive dry dock to create the elegant Crystal experience on board, the newly designed vessel will be renamed “Crystal Mozart” and embark on the Danube River on July 13, 2016," the company said in a statement. The twin hulled vessel will be renamed Crystal Mozart.

“In response to travelers and travel agents’ enthusiasm for Crystal River Cruises, and through Crystal’s innovation, we are upping the ante once again, bringing “true luxury” to the river cruise sector with the largest guest suites and public spaces, the highest crew-to-guest-ratio and Crystal’s award-winning service,” said Rodriguez. “Once the transformation of Crystal Mozart is completed, it will truly be the crown jewel of the European rivers.”

Crystal Mozart is designed to fit into the wider locks of the Danube River from Passau in Germany to Budapest in Hungary, and holds the record of being the largest river cruise vessel on European rivers, measuring 75.1 feet wide (22.9 meters) in beam, which is double the width of an average industry river boat. The 160-guest capacity Crystal Mozart has window suites of 203 square feet, deluxe suites of 215 square feet, a penthouse suite of 322 square feet and two, two-bedroom Crystal Suites of 860 square feet, the largest suite on any river vessels. Due to its impressive width and size, the vessel’s unique features will remain, such as the public area that spans a single level and exclusive yacht-like amenities including multiple dining rooms, a wraparound promenade, a luxurious spa and fitness center, an indoor pool, beauty salon, and library.

The four new all-suite luxury river yachts will debut in June and August 2017, boasting suites of 220 square feet, deluxe suites of 250 square feet, a penthouse suite of 500 square feet and a two-bedroom Crystal Suite of 750 square feet, and all boasting plush amenities. The suites will all feature king size beds (an industry first), walk-in wardrobes and bathrooms with double vanities. Similar to Crystal Mozart’s concept, the luxury river yacht’s public areas and dining venues are all on one level for convenient access. The new vessels will feature a Palm Court with dance floor and glass domed roof, a library, fitness center, spa, and sporting equipment such as electric assisted bicycles, kayaks, and jet skis. Designed with the maximum size to fit into the locks of rivers and under bridges, two of the Crystal River Yachts will cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers with 110 guests. As for the other two, each with an 84-guest capacity, one will be cruising the Seine River and the other the Garonne and Dordogne rivers as well as navigating through the Gironde Estuary.

Crystal Mozart is named after the famous Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and cruises on the Danube River, which passes Austria along with Germany, Slovakia, Hungry and Serbia. Following the same principle, the two new builds cruising on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers will be named “Crystal Bach” after the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and “Crystal Mahler” after the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler. The two new builds cruising on the Seine River and Garonne River will be named “Crystal Ravel” after the French composer Joseph Maurice Ravel and “Crystal Debussy” after the French composer Claude Debussy.

Crystal will dedicate a portion of each cruise to sailing along some of the most picturesque rivers in central Europe – including destinations such as Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and France – during daytime hours, allowing travelers to relish the extraordinary scenery. This timing also affords guests the opportunity to enjoy the nightlife in select destinations with port overnights, which will often present inclusive culinary experiences ashore at Michelin-starred restaurants and renowned local eateries, and exclusive evening events and cultural entertainment. During days spent in port, Crystal River Cruises will offer guests a bevy of the immersive Crystal Adventures as well as launch its newest shore-side program called Active Exploration Adventures. Tailored for guests wanting a high-intensity shore-side activity, Crystal is offering a complimentary active excursion for guests to explore the splendid European landscapes while staying fit on their vacation. In addition, the Crystal Adventures experience will be enhanced by the introduction of a fleet of luxury motor coaches, offering business-class style seating, complimentary Wi-Fi and with the most knowledgeable local guides onshore.

The announcement comes just months after Crystal Cruises unveiled its intention to embark on the most significant brand expansion in the luxury travel and hospitality history with the addition of Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Yacht Cruises, Crystal Exclusive Class ocean vessels and Crystal Luxury Air.

Itineraries, fares and bookings for Crystal Mozart, Crystal Bach, Crystal Mahler, Crystal Ravel, and Crystal Debussy will be available on November 30, 2015

Carnival Corporation plans two note issues totalling €1.25 billion

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Carnival Corporation, the Panama domiciled as US listed holding company in Carnival Corp & plc group, has filed shelf registration with the Securities and Exchanges Commission in the US to issue two batches of notes totaling at €1.25 billion, while Carnival plc, the UK domiciled and listed holding company in the group, would act as guarantor of both issues, the registration document shows.

Carnival Corporation plans to sell €700 million worth of notes that would mature on 6 November 2019. They would carry a coupon of 1.125% and be offered to investors at a price of 99.600.

The second batch would mature on 7 November 2022 and amount to €550 million. These notes would carry a 1.875% coupon and the offer price is set at 99.701.



Debt free Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines treble third quarter profit

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, the desinational UK based operator of four medium sized ships, has staged an almost threefold profit growth in the third quarter and the company is now debt free, said Ganger Rolf, one of the two listed Fred. Olsen group companies that owns the cruise line.

Net profit in the third quarter of this year rose to NOK62 million from NOK22 million in the same period a year earlier. Operating result (EBITA) improved to NOK185 million from NOK85 million.

For the first nine months of the year, the company whose ships have a total capacity of 3,700 lower berths, reported a net profit of NOK71 million, while a year earlier it had suffered a loss of NOK29 million. EBITDA rose to NOK302 million from NOK108 million, while revenues rose to NOK1.66 billion from NOK1.29 billion.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, which is based in Ipswich in the UK and jointly owned by Ganger Rolf ASA and Bonheur ASA in Norway, carried no dent in its balance sheet at the end of September, while a year earlier, its debt had amounted to NOK419 million.

At the same time, equity in the company rose to NOK1.31 billion from NOK419 million, figures released by Ganger Rolf show.

CBR 2/2015 contents

CBR 1/2015 contents

CBR 3/2014 contents