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SunStone Ships inks deal for two more newbuilds

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

SunStone Ships announced the signing of an agreement to build another two Infinity-class vessels, signaling rapid adoption of the European- designed, Chinese-built concept. SunStone President and CEO, Niels-Erik Lund, commented, “Our charterers are anxious to enjoy the advantages of our cutting-edge technology, like the X- bow design, along with the significant operating efficiencies offered by the Infinity-class. So, we’re moving as quickly as possible to get them into the market.”

Infinity-class Vessels are 104 meters long, and 18 meters wide, having a draft of 5.1 meters. They feature a passenger capacity between 130-200 and a crew capacity between 85 and 115.

The Vessels are Ice Class 1A, Polar Code 6 and are being built with Safe Return to Port, Dynamic Positioning and Zero Speed Stabilizers. Current Infinity-class newbuilds under way include the Greg Mortimer, scheduled to deliver August, 2019, the Ocean Victory in September 2020, the Ocean Explorer in March 2021, and the Ocean Odyssey in May 2022. The Ocean Explorer and Ocean Odyssey both already have long-term charter agreements.

This contract is part of the ten-vessel Framework Agreement with China Merchants Heavy Industries. “We are very pleased with the development and the speed with which we are signing these new-build contracts,” stated Lund, “in addition to the five vessels already ordered, SunStone is in negotiations for additional vessels and it is expected that the remaining five options will be signed within 2019, so that ten Infinity-class vessels will be built at CMHI, China.

American Queen Steamboat Company to acquire Victory I/II vessels and Victory Cruise Lines

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Today, American Queen Steamboat Company announced a definitive agreement to acquire the Victory I and sister ship Victory II from Sunstone Ships, Inc., as well as the Victory brand. These vessels are currently being marketed by Victory Cruise Lines as overnight cruise ships. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed and expected to close in early January 2019.

“We are pleased to purchase the Victory I and Victory II which will fuel the continued success and growth of American Queen Steamboat Company,” said American Queen Steamboat Company Chairman and CEO John Waggoner. “We look forward to working closely with Victory Cruise Lines' new and existing travel partners. These vessels enable us to provide guests with more diverse cruising options particularly in the Great Lakes, a region that our customers have been requesting for years.”

The 5,000-ton, 300-foot-long, 202-passenger Victory I and Victory II are both identical and details of upcoming operations on both of vessels will be announced in the coming months.

The Victory I and Victory II will join the American Queen Steamboat Company fleet under the Victory Cruise name, alongside the flagship American Queen and 166-guest boutique paddlewheeler American Duchess sailing the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and American Empress in the Pacific Northwest. The new American Countess, currently under construction in Louisiana, will debut in 2020.

“Victory Cruise Lines has established itself as the leading cruise line on the Great Lakes, and our bookings for 2019 are already 35% ahead of our actuals of 2018. AQSC’s established and strong product and brand is well-suited to take the Victory vessels and Victory Cruise Lines brand forward creating one of the largest North American Great Lakes and U.S. River cruising companies in the country,” said Victory Cruise Lines President and CEO Hans Lagerweij.

NCLH raises full year 2018 EPS guidance to $4.85

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH), the world third largest cruise shipping group, has raised its 2018 full year earnings per share (EPS) forecast to $4.85 from an earlier forecast of $4.70 to $4.80.

“The Company expects to generate record earnings in full year 2018 and has increased its outlook above the high-end of its previous guidance range.  Adjusted EPS is now expected to be approximately $4.85, which is inclusive of the previously announced impact from itinerary optimisation initiatives which will benefit future periods,” the company said in a statement. 

“The robust booking environment for cruise vacations is alive and well as evidenced by our stellar booked position for 2019, which continues to exceed this year’s record levels, with booking momentum accelerating for sailings throughout 2019 and extending into 2020,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

“We are well-positioned to achieve the three-year double-digit Adjusted EPS CAGR (compound annual growth rate), net leverage and Adjusted ROIC (return on invested capital) targets provided at our 2018 Investor Day, while at the same time returning meaningful capital to shareholders, despite rising fuel prices and fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.”