China an option for Norwegian newbuild, Del Rio says

Future New Build bound for China?
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio told investors that China is being studied as a deployment option for one of its ships on order for 2018.

At a conference for institutional investors, Del Rio said he has formed a team to evaluate the idea.

The exploratory team will do financial research with the goal of making a recommendation by the spring of 2016.

A key question, Del Rio said, is whether Norwegian could make more money with the ship deployed in China or elsewhere.

He noted that after initial losses, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Carnival Corp. report being profitable in sourcing guests from China.

“Others have begun making money there, and if others can, we can,” Del Rio said.

Norwegian has multiple ships on order, including a pair of 4,200-passenger “Breakaway Plus” designs scheduled for delivery in 2018 and 2019.