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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines enjoyed strong 2016

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, the UK based destinational cruise shipping company, enjoyed a strong 2016, with full year profit significantly higher than in the previous year and the final quarter loss markedly lower than that in 2015.

Operating revenues fell a fraction, to NOK2.07 billion from NOK2.09 billion in 2015, but net profit rose to NOK163 million from NOk71 million and operating margin (EBITDA) improved by one percentage point to 15%, show figures released by its parent company Bonheur ASA, a listed company that is controlled by the Olsen family.

In the final quarter of 2016, the company made a loss NOK27 million compared to a NOK70 million loss in the last three months of 2015m,while revenues fell to NOK401 million from NOK433 million. Operating margin became positive by 4% after being negative by 2% in the last quarter of 2015. Fred. Olsen Cruise Line is free of debt.

Bonheur said that the depreciation of the British pound against the dollar had raised costs as these are largely in the dollar, but added that bookings had been strong and net ticket income per diem had risen by 10% in the final quarter

Norwegian in four plus two 140,000 gross ton ship contract with Fincantieri

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilder, said it has been awarded an order from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) for the construction of four new generation cruise ships with an option for additional two, for its Norwegian Cruise Line contemporary market brand.

“The value of each ship is approximately €800 million, with one delivery per year from 2022 to 2025, stretching to 2027 in case of confirmation of the option,” Fincantieri said in a statement.

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and Sace, together with a pool of export credit lenders, have played a crucial role for the success of the order and the ship owner’s decision, giving Fincantieri the chance to offer an appealing technical, commercial and financial package, still subject to some conditions.

These ships will form the backbone of the future Norwegian fleet, being about 140,000 gross tons, almost 300 meters long, and accommodating 3,300 guests. The order is based on a prototype project developed by Fincantieri, which enhances the consolidated features of Norwegian’s signature offering of freedom and flexibility, qualified by an innovative configuration for an enhanced passenger experience.

In addition, focus was set on energy efficiency, with the twofold aim of optimizing consumption at sea and reducing environmental impact, compliant with all the most recent regulations on this matter.

“This new class of ships will continue Norwegian Cruise Line brand’s legacy of introducing meaningful innovation to the cruise industry” said Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “This order continues to highlight our disciplined newbuild program, extends our growth trajectory well into the future, enhances our already attractive earnings profile and drives expected long-term returns for our shareholders”.

G Adventures buys Swan Hellenic, relaunch due next year - report

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Swan Hellenic, the destination focused UK based boutique cruise line, has been acquired by adventure travel specialist G Adventures, which has its headquarters in Toronto in Canada, following the collapse of the line's former parent company -- All Leisure Group (ALG) -- last month, Cruise Critic reports on its website.

“G Adventures has revealed it will restart Swan Hellenic cruises in 2018, with new itineraries set to be announced this summer. The company has advised passengers who were booked on 2017 itineraries to contact the administrator for All Leisure, Grant Thornton LLP,” the report said.

Hebridean Island Cruises, the Scotland focused unit of ALG, was sold to private interests before the collapse of the parent company. Voyages of Discovery, the third boutique cruise brand of ALG, remains unsold. It used to operate the 1990 built Discovery of some 16,000 gross tons.


Viking Ocean Cruises takes delivery of third vessel – Viking Sky to be named in Tromsø, Norway

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Viking Ocean Cruises has announced that it took delivery of Viking Sky, the company’s third ship. The delivery ceremony took place on January 26 when the ship was presented at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy. On February 25, Viking Sky will set sail from Rome’s port at Civitavecchia and will make her way through the Mediterranean on her maiden voyage. After sailing spring itineraries throughout the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, Viking Sky will make her way to officially be christened under Norway’s “midnight sun” on June 22 in Tromsø – a nod to Viking’s Norwegian heritage. Following the christening, Viking Sky will continue her maiden season sailing itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic before crossing the Atlantic in September on her way to the Americas and the Caribbean.

“In the past two years, we have been encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response our first two ocean ships have generated among our guests and travel industry partners. Today we mark an important milestone in welcoming the third ship to our fleet. By the end of 2017 – our 20th year in business – we will also welcome our fourth ship, doubling our fleet in less than a year,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “With our fast-growing fleet and innovative design, we look forward to introducing even more experienced travelers to The Viking Way of destination-focused itineraries in the years to come.”

Classified by Cruise Critic as a “small ship,” the all-veranda Viking Sky is a sister ship to the award-winning Viking Star and Viking Sea, which launched in 2015 and 2016, respectively, to customer and industry acclaim. In its first year of operation, Viking Ocean Cruises was named #1 Ocean Cruise Line in Travel + Leisure’s 2016 “World’s Best Awards.”

Viking’s ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, boast 465 staterooms and accommodate 930 guests. In November 2017, Viking will also welcome Viking Sun®, which will spend her maiden season sailing the company’s first-ever World Cruise, which spans 141 days, five continents, 35 countries and 66 ports. Viking Spirit® will join the fleet in 2018 and will sail itineraries in Australia, Asia and Alaska. A sixth, yet-to-be-named ship will be delivered in 2019 and will mark Viking as the largest small ship ocean cruise line.

RCCL sees 2017 EPS to climb to $6.90 to $7.10 range

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL), the world’s second largest cruise shipping group, said it expects its 2017 Earnings per share (EPS) to climb to the range of $6.90 to $7.10 from $6.08 in 2016.

Net yields are expected to increase 4.0% to 6.0% on a constant-currency basis and 3.3% to 5.3% asreported, the company said. Net cruise costs, excluding fuel , are expected to be flat on a Constant-Currency basis and flat to minus 1.0% as reported. “Adjusted EPS for 2017 is expected to be in the range of $6.90 - $7.10 per share,” RCCL said in a statement.

Foreign exchange and fuel prices are creating headwinds. The above guidance is based on current rates which will cost the company $0.18 per share versus last year's figures. Since the last update, the impact has worsened by $0.10 per share

The company's booked position for 2017 is better than last year's record high, and at higher rates. Strength from North American consumers is driving exceptionally positive trends for North American and European products.

These trends, along with a positive outlook for Australia and a solid booked position in China for the first half of the year, are positioning the company for robust growth in 2017.

"Our global portfolio of products is demonstrating strength across virtually all key markets, positioning us to deliver strong yield growth in 2017," said Jason T. Liberty, chief financial officer. "Strong topline growth combined with continued focus on cost management will generate another year of record setting results. Even with significant pressure from FX (foreign exchange) and fuel, we will deliver another stellar year."