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NCL Corporation reports 18% rise in third quarter net profit

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

NCL Corporation, parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line and NCL America, has reported a rise in net profit to $110.1 million in the third quarter from $93.0 million in the same period last year, while revenues increased to $666.6 million from $634.1 million.

Net yield increased 3.8%, mainly on higher ticket prices. “Benefits realized from ongoing business improvement initiatives coupled with non-recurring expenses in the third quarter of 2010 related to the launch of Norwegian Epic resulted in a decrease in Net Cruise Cost per Capacity Day of 2.0%, or 2.8% on a Constant Currency basis, after considering a 17.9% increase in the price of fuel to $598 per metric ton from $507 in 2010.  Excluding fuel expense, Net Cruise Cost per Capacity Day decreased 5.3%, or 6.2% on a Constant Currency basis,” the company said in a statement.

 "A strong summer season resulted in solid top-line growth in the quarter," said Kevin Sheehan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "Pricing was up across the fleet despite several voyages being impacted due to tropical weather conditions in the Northeast and Caribbean," continued Sheehan.

Interest expense, net of capitalized interest, increased to $49.9 million in the quarter compared to $46.2 million in 2010 due to higher average interest rates in the period resulting from the issuance of $250 million in senior notes in November of 2010. 

RCCL warns of weaker full year 2011 than earlier forecast

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL), the world’s second largest cruise shipping group, has revised lower its expectations for the full year 2011 earnings per share (EPS), but on the other hand the outlook for next year is encouraging.

“For the full year 2011, the company’s Constant-Currency Net Yield improvement expectations are essentially unchanged at 2% to 3%. Including currency movements, full year Net Yields are expected to increase approximately 4%,” RCCL said in a statement.

“Full year 2011 EPS is expected to be within a range of $2.70 to $2.80, a $0.15 reduction from prior guidance primarily due to the strengthening of the U.S. Dollar and the fuel option revaluation loss,” the company said..

As far as next year is concerned, RCCL said: “Though economic uncertainty is elevated and it is still early in the booking cycle, 2012 demand thus far has been solid. Booked load factors and pricing are both running ahead of this time last year, which supports the company’s expectation of continued yield accretion during 2012.”

RCCL third quarter net profit climbs to $399 million

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL), the world’s second largest cruise shipping group, has reported net income of $399.0 million, or $1.82 per share, versus $350.2 million, or $1.61 per share, in 2010.

“Results include an $0.08 per share mark-to-market revaluation loss on the company’s WTI fuel option portfolio. Absent the revaluation charge, third quarter earnings per share totaled $1.90,” the company said in a statement.

Revenues improved to $2.3 billion in the third quarter of 2011 compared to $2.1 billion in the third quarter of 2010 as a result of capacity increases and yield improvements. Net Yields for the third quarter of 2011 increased 5.3% (2.6% on a Constant-Currency basis). "The company experienced particularly strong demand for its Caribbean and Alaska products during the third quarter with both markets experiencing increases in excess of 15% in ticket yields and Alaska yields reaching a historical high," RCCL said.

Costs in the third quarter of 2011 remained under tight control with NCC excluding fuel increasing only 0.7% on a Constant-Currency basis (2.5% on an as-reported basis).

Bunker pricing for the third quarter was consistent with earlier calculations at $608 per metric ton and consumption was 333,000 metric tons. During the quarter the company booked an $0.08 per share mark-to-market revaluation loss on its WTI fuel option portfolio.

“This loss partially offsets the revaluation gains the company recorded earlier in the year. As previously noted, these fuel options have been entered into for the purpose of protecting the company against spikes in oil prices. However, the options are not treated as hedges for accounting purposes and therefore can cause swings in quarterly earnings. Overall, they have been a successful strategy despite the swings they have caused, RCCL said.

Royal Caribbean to transfer Independence of the Seas to North America for 2012-2013 winter season

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Independence of the Seas is being repositioned to America! Royal Caribbean International is bringing the Freedom-class ship back to Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. for the winter 2012-13 season. Vacationers will have a choice of three Freedom-class ships offering a variety of exciting Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, conveniently sailing from Port Canaveral (on Florida's Space Coast) aboard Freedom of the Seas and Port Everglades aboard Independence of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas. Independence of the Seas' winter 2012-13 Caribbean season is now open for booking.

"We are looking forward to having all three Freedom-class ships sailing the Caribbean in winter 2012-13," said Betsy O'Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. "Independence of the Seas has helped solidify Royal Caribbean's position as the most innovative cruise line in Europe, where she will continue to sail in the summer, and is now offering new Caribbean adventures for the ships devotees. The most innovative cruise ships along with exciting itineraries in one of the world's most idyllic destinations, plus friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service from every staff and crew, are all part of the Royal Advantage that we are delivering to guests from around world."

Independence of the Seas will depart on its trans-Atlantic voyage from Southampton, U.K. on November 22, 2012, and homeport at Port Everglades from December 2012 through March 2013. The ship will sail a three-night Bahamas cruise, before alternating eight-night Eastern Caribbean and six-night Western Caribbean itineraries. In the Eastern Caribbean, guests will enjoy calls at San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, and Labadee, Royal Caribbean's private beach destination on the northern coast of Haiti. In the Western Caribbean, Independence of the Seas will call at Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Labadee. Additionally, a special six-night Western Caribbean itinerary, calling at Grand Cayman, and Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico, will sail on January 13, 2013. Independence of the Seas will then return to the U.K. in April 2013 to offer Mediterranean and Europe cruises throughout the summer.

At 154,407 gross register tons and a capacity of 3,634 guests, double-occupancy, Independence of the Seas features all of the industry-first amenities which are trademarks of the Freedom-class ships, such as a FlowRider surf simulator; the H20 Zone kids aqua park with sprinklers, water cannons and a pool for toddlers; cantilevered whirlpools suspended 112 ft. above the ocean in the adults-only Solarium pool zone; a full-size boxing ring and the 4-bedroom, 4-bath, and 14-guest Presidential Family Suite. Independence of the Seas also features exclusive Royal Caribbean amenities such as an ice-skating rink; a rock-climbing wall; the award-winning Adventure Ocean kids program; 10 fine to casual dining options; Broadway-style entertainment; and the Royal Promenade – a boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship flanked by boutiques, restaurants, and bars and lounges.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. 

Cunard Line transfers fleet to Bermuda registry

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Cunard Line, the UK based premium market company in the Carnival Corp & plc group, will transfer its three ships to the registry of Bermuda from that of the UK and start to offer weddings at sea, the company said in a statement.

Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will continue to fly the Red Ensign of the British merchant navy as Bermuda is a British dependency.

Peter Shanks, Cunard President and Managing Director, explains:  “Most of our competitors have been developing increasingly popular and lucrative ‘Weddings at Sea’ programmes, and these are now very big business in the cruise industry. We receive a lot of enquiries about the possibility of being married on one of our ships – particularly about weddings in mid-Atlantic on board Queen Mary 2, which no other company can offer”.

Cunard’s ‘Weddings at Sea’ programme will begin after the World Voyages have been completed in Spring next year and will offer a number of packages on all three ships. A brochure detailing the programme will be issued in November, and the programme will go on sale in December 2011.

In the past, passenger ships operated by Cunard have flown the flags of e.g the Bahamas and Panama in addition to that of the UK.