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RCCL first quarter net profit falls to $47.0 million

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL), the world’s second largest cruise shipping group, said its net income was $47.0 million, or $0.21 per share in the first quarter of this year, versus $78.4 million, or $0.36 per share, in the same period in 2011.The company had forecast a figure in the range of $0.10 to $0.20.

“Net Yields increased 7.0% on a Constant-Currency basis (+6.4% As-Reported). Net Cruise Costs ("NCC") excluding fuel increased 5.7% on a Constant-Currency basis (+5.1% As-Reported); Consistent with prior guidance, approximately 350 basis points of the Net Yield improvement and approximately 500 basis points of the NCC excluding fuel increase during the quarter related to previously announced deployment initiatives and changes to the company's distribution system,” the company said in a statement.

As expected, booking activity has continued to gradually improve over the last several months. Since the company's earnings announcement on February 2, 2012, the price of oil has risen which, at current levels and net of hedging, would increase bunker expenses $0.15 per share for the year.

As announced in the company's February 2, 2012 earnings release, Net Yields and NCC's this year are being influenced by two unique factors:

 Firstly, the company made some changes related to its International distribution system in 2011 which carry on into 2012 and will increase yields. The changes also increase expenses, but the bottom line impact is not material.

 Secondly, the company has increased its commitment in certain deployment initiatives which increase revenues but also increase related expenses. For example, China represents a strategic market initiative the company is augmenting significantly, RCCL said.

Three Royal Caribbean ships in South Pacific 2013-14

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Travellers can now choose from over 50 distinctive itineraries to 56 different ports of call in the South Pacific from three of Royal Caribbean International’s innovative ships with cruises on offer between September 2013 and April 2014, the comapny said in a statement.

Voyager of the Seasthe recently revitalised Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas will sail in the South Pacific region with many cruises departing from Sydney’s iconic harbour. 

“There’s no better way for families and adventurers to experience Australia and New Zealand than with Royal Caribbean International,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing for Royal Caribbean International. “Unpack once, visit multiple destinations in this fascinating region and delve deeper into an unforgettable Australia adventure.”

 Voyager of the Seas will sail from Singapore to Sydney on a 14-night cruise on 24 October 24 2013, which begins with an overnight in Singapore and calls at Kuala Lumpur (Port Keland), Malaysia, and Darwin and Brisbane, Australia.

The ship then homeports at Sydney to offer nine sailings to New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia, ranging from nine- to 14-night itineraries.  A nine-night Tasmania cruise, sailing 4 February 2014, features an overnight at Hobart on this one-off itinerary. At the end of the season, Voyager of the Seas will sail a spectacular 18-night Australia and New Zealand itinerary to Perth, and return to the Far East on a 14-night sailing on 27 March to Singapore, via Bangkok.

Exclusively offering the DreamWorks Experience in the Far East and South Pacific, Voyager of the Seas offers holidaymakers the most innovative Australia and New Zealand cruise experience. Popular DreamWorks Animation characters such as Po the Warrior Dragon from Kung Fu Panda, Shrek and Fiona, Alex the Lion and Gloria the Hippo from Madagascar will delight guests in Character Breakfasts, themed activities, surprise appearances, and plenty of unforgettable photo opportunities.

The ship is the first among a class of ships that revolutionised the industry including debuting the first ice-skating rink and rock-climbing wall at sea. The ship also features the Royal Promenade, an interior boulevard that runs nearly the ship’s length; flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques; and where parades and evening street parties are held.

Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas also will be homeported at Sydney from October 2013 to early May 2014, offering travellers a wide variety of itineraries, ranging from seven to 15 nights to Australia’s Tasmania and Queensland, New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia. Radiance of the Seas also will circumnavigate twice around Australia – comprising a 16-night north coast and 17-night south coast and New Zealand sailing each – departing 24 October 2013 and 14 February 2014.


Trans-Pacific crossings between Vancouver, British Columbia and Sydney begin and end both ship’s winter 2013-14 Australia season, comprising a 12-night Hawaii and a 16- or 17-night South Pacific sailing, departing 13 September 2013 and 10 April 2014 on board Radiance of the Seasand 6 September 2013 and 18 April 2014 for Rhapsody of the Seas.


In between exciting ports of call, just-revitalised Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas offer guests a wide spectrum of the most contemporary dining and entertainment options. Radiance of the Seas was revitalized in 2011 to offer eight restaurants – Park Café, Boardwalk Dog House, Chef’s Table, Giovanni’s Table, Izumi, Rita’s Cantina, Samba Grille and main dining room – and the new Quill & Compass Pub.


Rhapsody of the Seas features a new high-flying Centrum entertainment experience, where aerialists glide through the five-story atrium as guests enjoy a cocktail in the new 60’s-themed R Bar, or catch a small bite in the new chic Viking Crown Lounge in the evening. Both ships also newly feature an oversized LED video screen overlooking the main pool, the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, bow-to-stern WiFi service, and completely refreshed staterooms with new flat-panel interactive TVs, and a Concierge Lounge and Diamond Club for suite and Crown & Anchor Society member guests.


Younger guests can join in informative and entertaining programming from morning to late night in the cruise line’s award-winning Adventure Ocean and Kids programme. College-accredited counsellors lead kids in stimulating activities designed for five age groups, 3-5, 6-9, 10-13, and 14-17 years, where teens have their own dedicated space to hang out with peers.


A Queensland fly/cruise including return flights from London Heathrow to Sydney and one-night’s pre-cruise hotel accommodation in Sydney costs from £2,480 per person. Price includes an 11-night cruise on board Royal Caribbean International’s Rhapsody of the Seas departing Sydney and calling at destinations throughout New South Wales and Queensland including Newcastle, an overnight stay in Cairns, Airlie Beach and Brisbane.








Travellers can also choose a Royal Caribbean Australia Cruisetour and add an escorted pre- or post-cruise land tour to their holiday. Guests have opportunities to explore the Great Barrier Reef; come face-to-face with the awesome Ayers Rock; walk Australia’s Great Outback; or delve into New Zealanders culture and landscapes on more than four itineraries, all escorted by a dedicated Royal Caribbean Adventure Specialist who knows what to see and where to go. Royal Caribbean International takes care of all the planning, premium hotel accommodations, included activities, all coach and air transportation, selected meals, and time for independent exploration and shopping for a stress-free Australia adventure.



Viking Ocean Cruises opts for bigger design with Fincantieri

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Viking Ocean Cruises, which is an affiliate of Viking River Cruises, opted for a larger design as it switched the project from STX France to Fincantieri in Italy.

The two ships will be of about 45,000gross ton and will host 998 passengers in 499 cabins. The first ship is scheduled for delivery in late 2014, the second one in late 2015, Fincantieri said in a statement today as the two companies signed a memorandum of agreement regarding their construction.

On 21 December, STX France described the projected ships by saying that they will have a length of 230m and a width of 26.5m. They will each include 888 passengers in 444 cabins with a complement of 444 crew members. Their gross tonnage was given as 35,000 in the shipping media.

“The ship designed by Fincantieri has a fresh and innovative design well suited to our commitment to destination cruising," said Torstein Hagen, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Viking in the Fincantieri statement.


Viking Ocean Cruises signs two ship deal with Fincantieri

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Viking Ocean Cruises, a sister company of Viking River Cruises, the world’s leading river cruise line, and Fincantieri, world leader in cruise shipbuilding, announced the signature of a Memorandum of Agreement for the construction of two new luxury ocean cruise ships, with an option for a third vessel, Fincantieri said in a statement.

The two ships will be small by today’s standards at about 45,000 GRT and will host 998 passengers in 499 cabins. Viking had unveiled its ambition to expand to ocean cruising in December 2011, when it signed an initial contract with STX France to build the two ships. However, ths did not lead to a firm order.

The first ship is scheduled for delivery in late 2014, the second one in late 2015. The parties have reached an agreement on the deal and expect to sign the contract shortly, once the final documents and conditions are finalised.

The parties succeeded in signing the agreement, highly important  especially as it comes in a period of economic crisis, and have applied for the support of the Italian export credit programme involving SACE and SIMEST and, if eligible, the funding from Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.

Torstein Hagen, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Viking, commented on the announcement: We are very excited to be working with Fincantieri.  We started Viking with the goal of bringing the destination back to cruising and we are excited to bring this same destination commitment back to ocean cruising. The ship designed by Fincantieri has a fresh and innovative design well suited to our commitment to destination cruising."

Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are delighted and honored  having been selected by Viking Ocean Cruises to build such an innovative project. Considering the economic crisis, this agreement between Fincantieri and the new customer represents a strong sign of renewed confidence in the sector growth, also because Viking, the world leader in river cruises, enters for the very first time the ocean cruises sector". This agreement demonstrates the success of Ficantieri’s strategy to regain its competiveness in the market.  This new Project, which, is the beginning of a new phase, will further reinforce to our employees the confidence we have for the future."


Norwegian Getaway to sail year-round from Miami

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

PortMiami and Norwegian Cruise Line have announced that Norwegian Cruise Line's new state-of-the-art 4,000 passenger ship, Norwegian Getaway, will make Miami her year-round home port. Norwegian Getaway - which will be the largest ship ever to home port year-round in Miami - will embark on weekly cruises beginning in the spring of 2014. Miami-Dade County officials joined Norwegian Cruise Line Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sheehan today at PortMiami on board Norwegian Spirit for this announcement.

"PortMiami is pleased to be the home of the most modern and innovative ships on the seas today. Norwegian Getaway will be a great addition to our fleet," said Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. "We are anxious to welcome Norwegian Getaway to the Cruise Capital of the World."
Norwegian Cruise Line was the first cruise brand to sail from Miami.

"Miami has been the home of this Company since our beginning in 1966. Therefore, we are so excited to bring one of our two new Breakaway-class ships here to Miami to homeport year-round," said Norwegian Cruise Line Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sheehan. "Norwegian Getaway will embrace all that the Magic City has to offer and will offer an extraordinary cruise experience to the more than 4,000 guests who will sail on her each week beginning in spring 2014."

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, joined County Commission Chairman Joe A. Martinez in welcoming this new vessel to South Florida.

"The Norwegian brand is known around the world for its Freestyle Cruising," Sosa said. "We are looking forward to bringing a new Norwegian ship to our community."
PortMiami Director Bill Johnson said, "Norwegian vessels will generate more than one million passenger moves annually through the Port once Norwegian Getaway arrives, contributing an estimated $500,000,000 each year to Florida's economy. Norwegian Getaway alone is expected to generate 450,000 passenger moves each year."

Norwegian Cruise Line has been sailing its ships from PortMiami longer than any other cruise brand, since the company's origins in 1966. Norwegian currently has three ships sailing seasonally from Miami, including Norwegian Epic, the line's largest vessel carrying more than 4,100 guests. Norwegian Sky has been sailing three and four-day itineraries to the Bahamas year-round from Miami since 2007.

Being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Getaway will be 144,000 gross tons and is scheduled for delivery in spring 2014. Norwegian will announce the ship's inaugural itineraries and on-sale dates later this year. Norwegian Getaway's sister ship, Norwegian Breakaway, will begin sailing from her year-round home port of New York City in May 2013.

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