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TUI issues profit warning on host of woes

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

TUI AG, which operates three cruise brands as parts of its business, has issued a profit warning for the financial year to 30 September, citing a host of woes from last year’s hot weather in Europe, shift in consumer demand and a weak British pound as sources of concern.

“TUI AG now expects FY19 underlying EBITA rebased at constant currency to be broadly stable compared with the record performance in FY18 of EUR 1,177m. Consequently, we are not reiterating our guidance of at least 10% CAGR in underlying EBITA at constant currency for the three years to FY20,” said the company, whose headquarters are in Hannover in Germany in a statement.

The company said 34% of its Markets & Airlines Summer 2019 programme has been booked to date. “Bookings are broadly in line with prior year, however, margins are not, TUI said.

This is driven by a continuation of the sector headwinds already discussed at our FY18 results presentation in December 2018, in particular:

  • negative impact from the extraordinary hot weather in 2018, resulting in later bookings and weaker Markets & Airlines margins;
  • shift in demand from the Western to Eastern Mediterranean, which has created overcapacities in certain destinations such as the Canaries, resulting in lower margins for Markets & Airlines; and
  • continued weakness of the Pound Sterling, making it difficult to improve margins on holidays sold to UK customers.

Previously, it was anticipated that these headwinds would impact primarily H1 (Winter), however we are seeing from current bookings an additional impact on H2 (Summer), and have updated our guidance accordingly.

TUI said the management is already taking specific measures to address Markets & Airlines headwinds, including harmonisation under one leadership to drive cost savings and efficiencies; reducing distribution costs by shifting to more direct, more online, more mobile; and increasing upselling of activities & excursions to drive revenue and margin benefits.

“We also expect that the continued sector headwinds may trigger market consolidation, and that TUI could be a beneficiary of this,” the company said.

TUI AG owns 50% of the German cruise operator TUI Cruises and is full owner of the expedition and luxury operator Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten and UK based Marella Cruises

Holland America Line celebrates naming of Nieuw Statendam with Godmother Oprah Winfrey

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

In an event rich with inspiration and tradition, Holland America Line held a dedication ceremony for Nieuw Statendam Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Oprah Winfrey – philanthropist, film star, TV icon, founder and editorial director of O, The Oprah Magazine – officially named the ship in a ceremony on board in the ship’s World Stage.

During the daytime celebration, Winfrey was joined by Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line; Stein Kruse, Holland America Group and Carnival UK chief executive officer; and Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation.

“We are deeply honored to have Oprah Winfrey serve as the godmother of our newest ship in a celebration of our shared belief that travel has the power to open minds, build connections and inspire shared humanity across cultures and people,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Oprah’s magnetic energy and astounding ability to inspire others is admired around the world, and today was the perfect culmination of a memorable few days together on Nieuw Statendam and our ongoing partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine.”

Nieuw Statendam’s dedication ceremony followed the three-day Girls’ Getaway cruise to the Caribbean that celebrated the power of female relationships. Gayle King, editor-at-large of O, The Oprah Magazine and Winfrey’s best friend, joined her on the cruise, along with several other senior editors from the magazine.

During the ceremony, Ashford highlighted the connection between Nieuw Statendam, the legacy of the ship’s name and the stories of life-changing travel experiences for the officers and crew, travel professionals and guests, saying: “Nieuw Statendam represents our highest aspirations for connection and understanding in our world. She is a vessel for exploration and adventure across countries, languages, cultures and peoples, and — we hope — a source of joy for our guests for many years to come.”

Winfrey reflected on the Girls’ Getaway cruise that had just concluded, saying “It’s been an incredible experience to see people from across the world come together with one mind and celebrate themselves, honor themselves and honor each other. Everybody gathered, made friends and connected to people they didn’t know because they felt like they had met themselves on some level. I have never seen anything like it.” She then officially dedicated the ship as its godmother with the traditional statement, “I name this ship Nieuw Statendam. May God bless her and all who sail on her.” The ceremony concluded when Winfrey triggered the release of the traditional bottle of Champagne that broke against the ship’s bow.

Following the ceremony, a Gala Dinner was held on board. During the evening celebration, guests were invited to participate in a maritime tradition of pouring Champagne over the ship’s bell as a blessing. This ceremony was a recreation of the bell ceremony on Holland America Line’s s.s. Statendam IV on January 23, 1957, when a then-18-year-old Dutch Crown Princess Beatrix poured Champagne over the bell to officially dedicate that new ship as it sailed in the North Sea. Nieuw Statendam is the sixth ship in the company’s history to bear the name.

Fincantieri to build third 54,000 gross ton ship for Regent Seven Seas

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) signed a contract with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of one an ultra-luxury cruise ship for the NCLH group’s Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand to be delivered in 2023. The value of the agreement amounts to about €474 million.

The new vessel will be a sister ship to Seven Seas Explorer, which took the sea in 2016, and to Seven Seas Splendor, due to delivery in 2020. With about 54,000 tons, the unit will be able to accommodate up to 750 guests on board and she will be the brand’s sixth-all-suite vessel in Regent’s fleet. “As her sister ships, the new vessel will be built using the very latest environmental protection technologies. The interiors will be particularly sophisticated, with every attention paid to passenger comfort,” Fincantieri said.

“We are excited to build on the spectacular success of Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor as we embark on bringing to life a new vessel that will set even higher benchmarks for elegance, luxury and style,"said Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of NCLH, in the statement.

“This new ship further strengthens our Company’s robust yet measured growth profile with vessels now on order for all three of our award-winning brands, enabling us to  expand our presence globally, further diversify our product offerings and continue to drive shareholder returns," he added.


Rauma Marine Constructions in €120 million ferry contract with Kvarken Link

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC), the Finnish shipbuilder, said it has signed a letter of intent with Kvarken Link, a Finnish-Swedish ferry company, for an advanced 800 passenger and 1,500 lane metre capacity ropax vessel.

The vessel is set to operate between the Finnish city of Vaasa and the Swedish city of Umeå. The contract, with a value of approximately €120 million, will have an impact on employment totalling around 800 person-years. “The formal construction agreement is to be signed in early 2019, with the design and construction work set to start immediately thereafter,” Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of RMC, said in a statement.

“The vessel will be designed to be environmentally friendly, with a machinery running on a dual fuel and battery solution, and the main source of fuel being liquefied natural gas. The vessel will also be able to utilise, for example, biogas produced in Vaasa,” RMC said.

The ship will be built to Finnsh-Swedish ice class of 1A Super, in order to guarantee that it will be able to navigate in the challenging ice conditions of the Kvarken region as independently as possible.

Kvarken Link is owned by the city of Umeå and the city of Vaasa, both of whom serve as guarantors of the financing.

A ferry service was introduced between the two cities by Vaasanlaivat in 1948. The business grew rapidly and by the late 1980s, several second hand ships were employed on services from Vaasa to not just Umeå, but also Ornskoldsvik and Sundsvall across the Gulf of Bothnia. Vaasa handled more than a million passengers a year at this time.

The abolition of duty free sales in intra-EU travel in July 1999 led to a sharp reduction in passenger volumes and Silja Line, which had acquired Vaasanlaivat, pulled out of Vaasa.

The service to Umeå was reintroduced soon by anther company, but it used aged and low quality tonnage. A 1981 built second hand ropax Wasa Express run by Wasaline, the trading name of the company that contracted the newbuilding, is presently employed on the service.




Oceania Cruises signs for two Allura-class newbuilds with Fincantieri

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Fincantieri and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. signed a contract for the construction of two new generation cruise ships for the Oceania Cruises brand, with delivery scheduled respectively in 2022 and 2025, which will start the Allura-class. The agreement has an overall value exceeding 1 billion euros.

With about 67,000 tons and the capacity of accommodating approximately 1,200 passengers on board, these units will be the new flagships of Oceania Cruises future fleet, for which the Group has built in 2011 and 2012 respectively Marina and Riviera at the Sestri Ponente (Genoa) yard.

“We are excited to expand the Oceania Cruises fleet with our new Allura-Class ships to meet the strong demand for culinary- and destination-focused cruise vacations around the globe” said Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “This new class of ships will further elevate the already best-in-class guest experience at Oceania Cruises and meaningfully strengthen demand from both new and loyal returning guests, which will ultimately drive further returns for shareholders."

“This new successful project for Oceania Cruises is yet another demonstration of our ability to capitalize on product innovation and diversification to meet the needs of every type of customer, a capability that distinguishes us in the world,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “The order we are announcing today, indeed, reiterates not only our first place in the luxury sector, but at the same time it further strengthens an unprecedented leadership in the cruise sector, with a backlog of 55 vessels to be built for most of the brands operating on this market, and deliveries extending all the way to 2027."

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is one of the top cruise companies in the world. Besides Oceania Cruises, it operates the Norwegian Cruise Line brand, for which Fincantieri is developing the new Leonardo-class, 6 units which will be delivered between 2022 and 2027, and the Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand, to which Fincantieri has delivered in 2016 the ultra-luxury ship Seven Seas Explorer in Sestri Ponente and is now building a sister ship with delivery expected in 2020 in Ancona.

CBM 2018/2019 Winter