Curacao Traffic Boosted by New Pier

The Britannia is joined by the Adventure of the Seas as two big ships dock in Curacao.

Traffic is skyrocketing in Curacao as the 2018 calendar year is set to see a 16 percent increase in passenger arrivals boosted by a second mega pier, which opened to ships in late 2017. Additional mooring dolphins added early this year allow for even bigger ships to dock, according to Raul Manotas, COO of Curacao Ports.

“With our new mega pier completed, we expect to see a continuation of the growing trend of the last decade. Our objective is to reach the million passenger mark,” Manotas told Cruise Industry News.

Summer traffic this year includes 63 calls and accounts for about 23 percent of passenger arrivals.

“The second mega pier was essential in driving additional growth opportunities in the industry,” continued Manotas. “Our primary objective is to further brand the destination and establish strategic partnerships that can promote the destination. Curacao offers a unique blend of culture, history, gastronomy and entertainment that we will capitalize on.”

Interporting is done primarily by niche and luxury lines, Manotas said. “The objective is to further promote this among the smaller lines,” he added.

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FEMA Carnival Charter Cost $74.7 Million

Carnival Fascination

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) charter of the Carnival Fascination will cost the agency $74.7 million, according to the contract between FEMA and Carnival Corporation, which was obtained by Cruise Industry News through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The ship was chartered to provide housing for relief staff in the United States Virgin Islands following a number of hurricanes in September.

The charter period runs from October 11, 2017, to February 3, 2018, at a cost of $39.7 million, while a separate provision for port costs and other vessel costs comes in at $35 million, totalling $74.7 million.

By comparison, a 116-day operating period for the 2,056-guest Carnival Fascination would have resulted in gross revenue of approximately $44.2 million (versus the $39.7 million for the charter), calculated using gross revenue per passenger day reported by Carnival Corporation in the fourth quarter of 2016 and analyzed by Cruise Industry News.

By comparison, FEMA chartered the Grand Celebration in a similar deal for $25.8 million. 

The contract stipulates Carnival will provide three hot and cold buffet meals per day as well as drink availability (water, coffee, tea, juice) between meals. Staterooms will be cleaned on a weekly basis. In addition, Carnival will provide access to public spaces for FEMA personnel.

The separate $35 million line item includes docking and port fees in San Juan, various logistics provisions, waste removal, fuel costs, incremental costs related to crew compensation, and the “refurbishment of the ship at the end of the charter period to bring the ship to the same standards as the beginning of the charter period.”

NCLH: Tickets and Onboard Drive Q2; Food Spend Down

Increased ticket and onboard revenue drove Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) record second quarter (Q2) earnings.

Despite carrying fewer passengers than last year, 569,857 down from 574,838, NCLH posted more passenger cruise days, 4,517,788 up from 4,237,020, and higher gross and net ticket and onboard revenue per passenger day.

The passenger number was down due to longer cruises, according to NCLH.

Operating costs were also up, except food costs that were down for Q2 and for first six months of the year, despite an increase in passenger cruise days.

The reduction in food costs were primarily due to a series of purchasing initiatives undertaken over the past year. In a prepared statement to Cruise Industry News, NCLH said: “We have been successful in finding significant efficiencies across our food distribution through a concerted effort to improve processes in delivering consumables to our vessels around the world. In addition, we have leveraged our buying power to deliver substantial hard savings across our food purchasing without compromising quality.

“For example, on a number of key proteins that represent the highest cost items across our food costs, we have been able to cut costs significantly simply by purchasing directly from the suppliers and cutting out middlemen. These initiatives have resulted in savings while providing the same, or in many cases, better quality protein.

“During this period we have also been refining the dining experience across our fleet, and with the benefit of guest research and feedback, we have refined our menus to better meet the preferences of our guests and, as a result, we have seen our guest experience scores improve year over year.”

NCLH spent $47.3 million on food in the second quarter of this year and $95.5 million for the six-month period, compared to $49.8 million and $100.8 million, respectively, last year.

Gross revenue per passenger day was $297.52 this year, up from $280.11 last year. Net revenue per passenger day was $229.63 this year, up from $216.55.