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American Cruise Lines to build five new modern riverships

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise company, has announced details for the first of a new class of five modern riverships destined for America’s rivers. "These will be the first to combine the modern styling of a European rivership with the premium comfort for which American Cruise Lines is known," the company said in a statement.

The first in the series is scheduled to begin passenger service in 2018 and will carry 200 guests. The new rivership will feature the largest staterooms in the United States, with private balconies, and hotel-size bathrooms. At 345 feet long, the new rivership will include all the finest modern design features that today’s travelers have come to expect.

“For over a decade, we have led the way with ship innovation in the United States and we continue to raise the bar with this new class of modern riverboats,” says Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American. “American Cruise Lines has consistently pursued its new build program, as it considers refurbished boats unable to meet the modern expectations of today’s river cruise passengers.”

Construction has already begun on the new modern riverboat at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD. In addition to the new class of modern riverboats, American is building two additional cruise ships at Chesapeake Shipbuilding. American Constellation, has a capacity of 170 passengers and is scheduled to begin cruising in May of 2017 and its sister ship will begin cruising in 2018.

Carnival Corporation's Exhaust Gas Cleaning technology installed on 60% of fleet

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Carnival Corporation & plc has announced it has completed the installation and certification of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) on an industry-leading 60 ships across its brands. Representing a $400 million investment to date, the company is on track to develop and deploy its systems on more than 85 vessels across its global fleet through 2020 – significantly improving the quality of air emissions from its ships and reinforcing its environmental commitment.

First announced in 2013, the company broke new ground in engineering a proprietary technology to successfully function in the confined spaces of a cruise ship to reduce sulfur compounds and particulate matter from a ship’s engine exhaust at any operating state of a ship – at sea, during maneuvering and in port. The systems enable Carnival Corporation to meet international regulations that place a cap on sulfur content of fuel oil at 0.1 percent. In addition to mitigating costs for low-sulfur fuel, the systems further the company’s sustainability goals to continue reducing the intensity of carbon emissions while improving the overall quality of emissions.

“Our Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems represent advanced environmental technology, and underscore our company’s strong commitment to responsible sustainability practices,” said Mike Kaczmarek, vice president of corporate marine technology for Carnival Corporation. “Due to the success we have had with improving air quality with our systems, we have expanded our commitment to install and deploy this technology from an original 32 vessels to over 85 through the end of 2020. This is part of our ongoing focus on evaluating new technologies, employing new shipbuilding techniques and implementing energy-saving initiatives throughout our fleet to protect the health and vitality of the oceans, seas and communities in which we operate.”

Carnival Corporation’s Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems, known for their ability to clean – or “scrub” – exhaust from high-sulfur fuel, are currently installed and certified on 17 Carnival Cruise Line vessels, 13 Holland America Line vessels, 10 Princess Cruises vessels, seven Costa Cruises vessels, five AIDA Cruises vessels, four P&O Cruises UK vessels, three Cunard vessels and one P&O Cruises Australia vessel. The installation schedule for the remaining vessels will be forthcoming.

Carnival Corporation pioneered adapting a proven land-based exhaust gas cleaning technology into a marine system that is suitable for the restricted spaces available on cruise ships, leading to a significant development in shipboard environmental technology.

The sulfur reduction program is in line with other proactive steps Carnival Corporation has taken to reduce its carbon footprint, including the adoption of LNG – the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. In 2015, AIDAsol from the company’s AIDA Cruises brand was the first cruise ship in the world to be supplied with power by an LNG Hybrid barge and, last year, the newly delivered AIDAprima became the first cruise ship to routinely use LNG with a dual-fuel powered engine while in port. By 2019, with the introduction of the first of seven fully LNG-powered vessels, Carnival Corporation will be the first cruise company in the world to use LNG to power cruise ships both while they are in port and on the open sea.

“With the International Maritime Organization, the Cruise Lines Industry Association and various government organizations all calling for improved efficiency in clean operations, we see the installation of exhaust cleaning systems and use of clean fuels as steps to future-proof our fleet,” said Kaczmarek. “We are proud to be ahead of the curve in meeting the upcoming regulations and guidelines.”

Norwegian expects 2017 adjusted EPS to climb to $3.75-$3.85 bracket

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Limited (NCLH), the world’s third largest cruise shipping group, expects its 2017 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) to climb to the bracket of $3.75 to $3.85 from $3.41 in 2016.

"With our strong booked position and continuing momentum we look forward to another year of solid financial performance, including double-digit Adjusted EPS growth in 2017," said Wendy Beck, executive vice president and chief financial officer of NCLH.

"In addition, this year marks another key milestone with our much anticipated debut into the Chinese cruise market with the delivery of Norwegian Joy," she said in a statement.

"This solid revenue and earnings trend is expected to continue in 2017 as we are now in the best booked position in our company's history with pricing slightly above the prior year," said Frank Del Rio, President and CEO.

Norwegian group 2016 net profit rises 48% to $637 million

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Limited (NCLH), the world's third largest cruise shipping group, has reported a strong rise in 2016 net profit ad the company sees a strong start for the present year.

Group net profit rose to $637.1 million in 2016 from $427.1 million in the previous year as revenues climbed to $4.87 billion from $4.35 billion.

In the final quarter, the profit reached $72.2 million compared to $38.3 million in the same period in 2015, while revenues increased to $1.13 billion from $1.04 billion.

Earnings per share (EPS) reached 2.78 last year, an increase from $1.86 in 2015, in GAAP terms.

“(The year 2016 marks another record year of earnings, continuing our track record of solid EPS growth, which has grown fivefold since 2013, the year of our initial public offering," said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

"This solid revenue and earnings trend is expected to continue in 2017 as we are now in the best booked position in our company's history with pricing slightly above the prior year," continued Del Rio.

Adjusted net revenue increased 12.7% to $3.8 billion compared to $3.3 billion in 2015.  Gross yield increased 0.7% and Adjusted net yield increased 1.8% on a constant currency basis and 1.2% on an as reported basis primarily due to improved pricing. 

Gross cruise cost increased 9.5% due to an increase in total cruise operating expense as a result of an increase in capacity days along with an increase in marketing, general and administrative expenses. 

Gross cruise costs per capacity day decreased 1.7%.  Adjusted net cruise cost excluding fuel per capacity day increased 1.7% on a constant currency basis and 1.5% on an as reported basis.

The company reported fuel expense of $335.2 million in the period.  In addition, a loss of $16.1 million was recorded in other income (expense), net in 2016 related to the ineffective portion of the Company's fuel hedge portfolio due to market volatility.


Carnival, CSSC and Fincantieri in two plus four ship firm deal

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Carnival Corporation & plc, China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and Fincantieri have signed a firm memorandum of understanding to build two ships, with an option for another four, in China for the local market, Fincantieri said in a statement.

Fincantieri and CSSC have formed a joint venture company called Cruise Development Company, Limited and the agreement entails this company together with a joint venture Carnival and CSSC have established, plus Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd (SWS), which is part of the CSSC group.

The first ship is expected to enter service in 2023. This is a year later than what the parties have anticipated so far and three years later than at the time of the establishment of the Carnival’s joint venture with its Chinese partners in 2015.

In the autumn, the parties agreed in principle to build these vessels, which were described at the time as 133,500 gross tons each. The tonnage is equal to that of Carnival Vista class ships that Fincantieri is building in Italy.