Norwegian CEO: Mediterranean cruising bouncing back

Photo by Dave Jones; Norwegian Jade in Santorini

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio said bookings for the Mediterranean have been strong in the past eight weeks, and that the company’s 2017 results will hinge on whether that continues.

Del Rio said business sourced in North America for the Med is up “strong double digits” across all three of the company’s brands (Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas Cruises) for the past eight weeks.

He said occupancies are currently flat and that pricing is behind in the Med for the second half of 2017, but that pricing could be up by year’s end if the current trend continues.

Del Rio said that because of the outsized yields of European itineraries, “2017 will greatly depend on the Med.”

In 2017, Norwegian will have 23% of its capacity in Europe, which is up due to the redeployment of the Norwegian Getaway to the Baltic, where demand is strong, Del Rio said.

Del Rio commented in a conference call for analysts held to discuss third-quarter earnings.

In the third quarter, Norwegian reported net income of $342.4 million compared to $251.8 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 15.6% to $1.5 billion.

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