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Fincantieri to boost synergies, sees 49 million plus cruise passengers in 2030

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilding group that is the biggest builder of cruise ships in the world, has presented a business plan for the years 2018-22, which calls for closer synergies between its yards and supply chain in the cruise ship sector.

To he company said in a statement that to better deploy its backlog, it plans to optimise the productive capacity of Italian shipyards and along the supply chain, besides leveraging on the substantial production synergies with Vard’s Romanian shipyards, particularly through an increased use of the Tulcea yard to support the Italian production network, therefore reducing the overload that would be otherwise incurred.

“The positive trend in global cruise tourism keeps sustaining momentum for the cruise activities of the Group. In fact, with respect to the previous Plan, the positive outlook for this tourist segment is confirmed, with an expected number of cruise passengers in 2030 exceeding 49 million (vs 25.8 million in 2017), amounting to a CAGR of 5.1%,” Fincantieri said.

Its cruise ship order portfolio is characterised by both a positive trend in lower berth pricing and a greater proportion of large cruise ships (above 140,000 gross tons); the combined effect of these two factors will allow the development of innovative projects with greater value.

“Furthermore, the Group will build an increasing number of luxury-niche cruise ships (a fast growing sub-segment) which are usually more profitable, despite the smaller size,’ fincantieri said.

Such expectations are confirmed by the strategies implemented by cruise operators, who started substantial newbuilding programs, particularly aimed at emerging markets, to anticipate demand growth and gain a more competitive positioning in the market. “Consequently, as the Group’s shipyards are now operating at full capacity, with planned production schedules until 2022, market prices will be positively impacted,” the company said.

In the new business plan, 2022 revenues are expected to grow up to 50% versus 2017, accompanied by a significant increase in profitability with an EBITDA margin between 8% and 9% (corresponding with a growth in EBITDA of up to 100% versus 2017). In 2022 the Adjusted net income margin is expected to be between 3% and 4%.

Royal Caribbean takes delivery Symphony of the Seas – the world's largest cruise ship

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Thirty-six months, 4,700 shipbuilders and crew, and one common goal: to deliver the ultimate family adventure. Royal Caribbean International honored the instrumental project team of Symphony of the Seas during the highly anticipated delivery event at STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France today. Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and Laurent Castaing, General Manager of STX France, led the traditional flag-changing ceremony, which symbolizes the ship’s official delivery from the ship builder to Royal Caribbean. The maritime ritual was followed by a celebration of the industry’s best, the crew whose hard work and meticulous collaboration came together to create the world’s largest cruise ship.

“Symphony of the Seas is the latest example of how our people work to push the envelope of innovation with each new ship,” said Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain. “The Oasis Class has been a trend-setting design, but the team has evolved the design to build on that success to provide even more incredible family adventures. We’re thankful to have a partner in STX France that is every bit as ambitious as we are about building technologically advanced ships.”

“It is a proud and exhilarating moment to welcome a new member to the family. Thanks to our stellar crew and partners at STX France, we now are ready to embark on this new boundless adventure that comes to life on Symphony of the Seas,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Symphony will take family vacationing to an all new level with energy and options never before found in one place. This ship is the perfect blend of our greatest hits we know guests love and a lineup of vibrant, new restaurants, activities and unparalleled entertainment – all purposefully designed around vacationers’ preferences.”

“Today is a day of pride for me, all STX France and sub-contractor teams as we hand over Symphony of the Seas to her owner as the largest cruise ship ever built,” said Laurent Castaing, General Manager of STX France. “Symphony will leave Saint-Nazaire yard as the ultimate example of our progress-driven spirit and commitment to innovation, which are at the heart of our partnership with Royal Caribbean, who is always challenging us in this direction.”

The 25th ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, Symphony of the Seas is 228,081 gross registered tons, measures 238 feet tall and spans 1,188 feet long. She will welcome 5,518 guests at double occupancy in 2,759 staterooms, including 28 additional balcony rooms that overlook the ocean or signature Boardwalk neighborhood. One Oasis Class ship, seven distinctive neighborhoods, the tallest slide at sea with the Ultimate Abyss and countless adventures for guests of all ages, the family adventure of a lifetime has surprises at every turn:

New culinary options

– Hooked Seafood: This upscale eatery atop of the world’s largest cruise ship in the Solarium serves up the real taste of New England-inspired seafood and unparalleled ocean vistas to match. Approachable and unassuming, the menu offers classic coastal favorites, such as lobster rolls, crab claws, signature fish sandwich, and a raw bar where oysters are shucked to order.
– Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade: Stretching the length of a reimagined Boardwalk, now touting fresh energy and swagger, the whole family can watch the home team play across 31 big-screen TVs, during the day and into the late night. The indoor and outdoor arcade, packed with over 20 games, offers the opportunity for friendly competition. The on-point menu of classic American bar food features everything from wings, burgers and popcorn shrimp to picture-perfect sundaes; as well as craft beers and cocktails.
– El Loco Fresh: Made-to-order tacos and burritos wrapped with fresh tortillas are among the Mexican “street food” favorites that will hit the spot for adventure seekers looking to fuel up with minimal downtime.
– Sugar Beach: The signature candy and ice cream shop is the sweet spot on the Boardwalk with more than 100 types of candies, a lineup of ice cream flavors and even DIY activities for the aspiring culinary artist.

New ways to play

– Battle for Planet Z: Royal Caribbean’s first glow-in-the-dark laser tag game brings two teams of eight head to head in an out-of-this-world adventure to determine who will claim the last planet in the galaxy.
– Escape the Rubicon: In the ultimate race against the clock, friends old and new must band together in the Rubicon submarine – a sophisticated, custom-built escape room – to solve a collection of puzzles before time runs out.

New family accommodations

Ultimate Family Suite: A two-level, 1,346-square-foot suite filled with awesome thrills offers more than enough room for the whole family – and friends – to come together and catch up on “me time.” Features include an in-room slide, a private cinema with an 85-inch HD TV, a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, a 212-square-foot balcony complete with table tennis and a full-size whirlpool. Complete with a Royal Genie, who caters to every whim, there are many more surprises awaiting guests along the way.

Symphony of the Seas will welcome her first guests on Saturday, March 31 for a one-time-only, 5-night preview sailing, calling on Naples and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy.

The ship’s maiden 7-night Mediterranean voyage departs Saturday, April 7 from Barcelona, Spain, where the crescendo of thrills will be brought to life by the 2,200 international crew members who proudly represent 77 countries around the world. Symphony of the Seas will homeport in Barcelona for the summer, visiting Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; and Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy. Beginning Nov. 10, Miami, FL. will become the ship’s year-round homeport, making Symphony of the Seas the first new Oasis Class ship to sail from the cruise capital of the world using Royal Caribbean’s new state-of-the-art Terminal A. The 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises will call on Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s newly revealed destination in the Bahamas.

Carnival raises 2018 EPS guidance to $4.20 to $4.40 range 

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Carnival Corporation & plc, the Anglo-American cruise shipping group, said it expects full financial year to 30 November 2018 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.20 to $4.40 compared to December guidance of $4.00 to $4.30 and 2017 adjusted earnings per share of $3.82.

“At this time, cumulative advanced bookings for the remainder of 2018 are in line with the prior year at higher prices. Since January, booking volumes for all future periods have been running ahead of prior year at higher prices,” the company said in a statement.

President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald said: “ "The booking strength achieved during this year's wave season, outpacing even last year's record levels, demonstrates sustained strong demand for our world's leading cruise brands and delivers further confidence in our raised earnings guidance.”

“We remain on track to achieve double-digit return on invested capital while continuing to return cash to shareholders through ongoing share repurchases and dividend growth,” he stated.

Based on current booking trends, the company expects full year 2018 net revenue yields in constant currency to be up approximately 2.5% compared to the prior year, in line with December guidance. The company expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency compared to the prior year to be up approximately 1.0%, also in line with December guidance. Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates are expected to increase earnings by 0.10 per share compared to December guidance.

Second quarter constant currency net revenue yields are expected to be up approximately 2.5% to 3.5% compared to the prior year.

Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency for the second quarter of 2018 are expected to increase by approximately 4.0% to 5.0% compared to the prior year. Based on the above factors, the company expects adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter 2018 to be in the range of $0.56 to $0.60 versus 2017 adjusted earnings per share of $0.52.