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Fincantieri to stretch two Grimaldi cruise ferries

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

After the signing of the letter of intent on March 5, Fincantieri and the Grimaldi Group signed the contract for the lengthening and refurbishment program for the cruise ferries Cruise Roma and Cruise Barcelona. The construction of the two mid-body sections will begin in 2018, while the completion of the works at Palermo shipyard is foreseen within summer 2019.

The two vessels, currently in service on the daily route Civitavecchia- Porto Torres-Barcelona with the Grimaldi Lines livery, have been built by Fincantieri shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia and delivered to the Neapolitan group in 2007 and 2008 respectively. They are 225 meters long, having a gross tonnage of 54,000 tons and capacity of transporting about 3,000 passengers, a 2,400 square meters car deck and approx. 3,000 linear meters for heavy vehicles.

About 600 additional lane meters for heavy vehicles, 80 sleeping accommodations in new passenger cabins, two new public spaces with a total capacity of 450 Pullman beds and a new Family self-service restaurant having about 270 seats, will be placed in the lengthening section, which is about 29 meters long. Furthermore important refurbishment works on the existing public areas will also be carried out, including the creation of a theme restaurant. Finally, safety equipment of the ship will be implemented in order to manage the increased passenger transport capacity.

At the end of the lengthening project, to be carried out by Fincantieri’s Ship Repair and Conversion, part of the Services division, each ship will be about 254 meters long, having a gross tonnage of about 63,000 tons and being able to transport 3,500 passengers, with a 3,000 square meters car deck and over 3,700 lane meters for heavy vehicles.

From the technological point of view cutting-edge solutions aimed at reducing the environmental impact and energy saving will be taken, such as the scrubber system for the exhaust gas cleaning as well as a system to power the ship during the turnaround time in ports, based on mega-lithium batteries, in order to avoid the use of the diesel-powered generators, achieving the goal of zero port emissions, pursued by the Grimaldi Group.

In the past Fincantieri has built 30 different types of vessels for Grimaldi.

Carnival Cruise Line takes delivery of 26th ship, Carnival Horizon

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

In a traditional maritime handover ceremony held earlier today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, Carnival Cruise Line officially took delivery of the new 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon, the 26th ship in its fleet.

The 3,954-passenger ship will reposition to Barcelona, Spain, where it will depart April 2 on an inaugural 13-night voyage – the first of four sailings from the European port. The ship will then operate a trans-Atlantic crossing before arriving in New York May 23, 2018, for a pierside overnight gala and naming ceremony featuring the ship's godmother, Grammy award-winning musical artist and acclaimed actress Queen Latifah.

Following a summer schedule of 4-night Bermuda and 8-night Caribbean sailings from New York, Carnival Horizon will shift to Miami for a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning Sept. 22, 2018.

Carnival Horizon offers several unique and exciting features, including a new Dr. Seuss-themed WaterWorks aqua park, part of the line's exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Bonsai Teppanyaki, the line's first teppanyaki venue, and Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse|Brewhouse serving up "real deal" barbecue favorites created by Food Network star Guy Fieri, as well as four new craft beers brewed on board.

The second in the line's highly successful Vista-class, Carnival Horizon also offers fun innovations like the bike-ride-in-the-sky aerial attraction SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre, the Havana section with tropics-inspired staterooms and its own pool, and Family Harbor featuring extra-roomy accommodations and the Family Harbor Lounge. Like its name implies, Carnival Horizon also includes food and beverage outlets offering amazing views with both indoor and al fresco seating options at venues such as Bonsai Sushi, Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse and Library Bar.

"Carnival Horizon is an absolutely stunning ship offering so many ways to 'Choose Fun' both inside and out," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "In addition to the many exciting innovations previously introduced on Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon offers some new one-of-a-kind features and attractions that make this ship truly special allowing our guests to create a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories," she added.

Fincantieri to boost synergies, sees 49 million plus cruise passengers in 2030

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilding group that is the biggest builder of cruise ships in the world, has presented a business plan for the years 2018-22, which calls for closer synergies between its yards and supply chain in the cruise ship sector.

To he company said in a statement that to better deploy its backlog, it plans to optimise the productive capacity of Italian shipyards and along the supply chain, besides leveraging on the substantial production synergies with Vard’s Romanian shipyards, particularly through an increased use of the Tulcea yard to support the Italian production network, therefore reducing the overload that would be otherwise incurred.

“The positive trend in global cruise tourism keeps sustaining momentum for the cruise activities of the Group. In fact, with respect to the previous Plan, the positive outlook for this tourist segment is confirmed, with an expected number of cruise passengers in 2030 exceeding 49 million (vs 25.8 million in 2017), amounting to a CAGR of 5.1%,” Fincantieri said.

Its cruise ship order portfolio is characterised by both a positive trend in lower berth pricing and a greater proportion of large cruise ships (above 140,000 gross tons); the combined effect of these two factors will allow the development of innovative projects with greater value.

“Furthermore, the Group will build an increasing number of luxury-niche cruise ships (a fast growing sub-segment) which are usually more profitable, despite the smaller size,’ fincantieri said.

Such expectations are confirmed by the strategies implemented by cruise operators, who started substantial newbuilding programs, particularly aimed at emerging markets, to anticipate demand growth and gain a more competitive positioning in the market. “Consequently, as the Group’s shipyards are now operating at full capacity, with planned production schedules until 2022, market prices will be positively impacted,” the company said.

In the new business plan, 2022 revenues are expected to grow up to 50% versus 2017, accompanied by a significant increase in profitability with an EBITDA margin between 8% and 9% (corresponding with a growth in EBITDA of up to 100% versus 2017). In 2022 the Adjusted net income margin is expected to be between 3% and 4%.

Carnival raises 2018 EPS guidance to $4.20 to $4.40 range 

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Carnival Corporation & plc, the Anglo-American cruise shipping group, said it expects full financial year to 30 November 2018 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.20 to $4.40 compared to December guidance of $4.00 to $4.30 and 2017 adjusted earnings per share of $3.82.

“At this time, cumulative advanced bookings for the remainder of 2018 are in line with the prior year at higher prices. Since January, booking volumes for all future periods have been running ahead of prior year at higher prices,” the company said in a statement.

President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald said: “ "The booking strength achieved during this year's wave season, outpacing even last year's record levels, demonstrates sustained strong demand for our world's leading cruise brands and delivers further confidence in our raised earnings guidance.”

“We remain on track to achieve double-digit return on invested capital while continuing to return cash to shareholders through ongoing share repurchases and dividend growth,” he stated.

Based on current booking trends, the company expects full year 2018 net revenue yields in constant currency to be up approximately 2.5% compared to the prior year, in line with December guidance. The company expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency compared to the prior year to be up approximately 1.0%, also in line with December guidance. Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates are expected to increase earnings by 0.10 per share compared to December guidance.

Second quarter constant currency net revenue yields are expected to be up approximately 2.5% to 3.5% compared to the prior year.

Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency for the second quarter of 2018 are expected to increase by approximately 4.0% to 5.0% compared to the prior year. Based on the above factors, the company expects adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter 2018 to be in the range of $0.56 to $0.60 versus 2017 adjusted earnings per share of $0.52.

Carnival group first quarter net profit rises to $391 million

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Carnival Corpotation & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping company, has reported a rise in both net and operating income (EBIT) on strong start of the financial year.

Net profit climbed to $391 million in three months to 28 February from$352 million in the same period a year earlier, while EBIT rose to $419 million from $368 million. Revenues rose to $4.23 billion from $3.79 billion.

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald said in a statement: "We are off to a strong start to the year achieving another quarter of record earnings on record revenues and exceeding the high end of guidance.”

“This strong operational execution affirms our efforts to create demand in excess of measured capacity growth and exceed guest expectations once onboard. Our guest experience efforts, coupled with our ongoing marketing and public relations programs are clearly accelerating cruise demand across the board to drive cruise ticket prices higher," he said.

Key information for the first quarter 2018 compared to the prior year:

Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or "ALBD") increased 9.2%. In constant currency, net revenue yields increased 3.9% for 1Q 2018, better than December guidance of up 1.5% to 2.5%.

Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD increased 9.0%. In constant currency, net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD increased 1.0%, better than December guidance of up 2.0% to 3.0%, principally due to the timing of expenses between quarters.

Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) decreased earnings by $0.04 per share, offset by an increase in earnings due to changes in currency exchange rates of $0.04 per share.