Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ momentum accelerates into 2018

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ net income rose 23% last year to $780 million, as European pricing and bookings recovered faster than expected and the booking curve extended to a near-optimal length.

Revenue rose 10.7%, to $5.4 billion.

The Wave season for 2018 has started strong and the outlook for 2018 is bullish, driven by a strong economy and consumer demand, CEO Frank Del Rio said.

“This year is by far the most excited, the most energized and the most optimistic I have ever been at the start of a new year,” Frank Del Rio said.

He said the strong demand environment of late 2016 and 2017 has “accelerated through this year’s early Wave season, as both the number of bookings sold and the price points achieved reach record levels” across all three brands — Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises.

“Our overall booked position during the first seven weeks of 2018 further improved compared to the same time last year,” he said.

He said on average NCLH guests are booking five weeks earlier than at the end of 2016.

Del Rio said the weak link if there is one, is China. “I don’t think China is hitting on all cylinders as it can,” he said, referencing the continued tensions with South Korea and the resulting uniformity of short cruise itineraries, which can only visit Japan. Nevertheless, he said China was profitable in 2017.

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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.

Norwegian Joy Welcomed to New Shanghai Home Port

Norwegian Joy Welcomed to New Shanghai Home Port
PHOTO: Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Norwegian Joy docked in Bremerhaven, Germany. (photo by Jason Leppert)
 

Following maiden calls in Singapore, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Norwegian Joy, was welcomed to its new home port of Shanghai, China.

The Norwegian Joy was engineered in Germany and designed specifically for the Chinese market.

During a preview voyage that departed from Shanghai June 10, the new ship welcomed more than 1,700 VIP members and guests of the Alibaba Group for a four-day preview cruise.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s preview voyage aboard the Norwegian Joy called on the Japanese port of Kochi before returning to Shanghai, and the ship’s christening ceremony will take place on June 27 with its Godfather, ‘King of Chinese Pop,’ Wang Leehom.

Year-round voyages on Norwegian Joy from Shanghai begin June 28, with sailings from Tianjin from August 26 to September 15. The vessel was designed with several major attractions, including the first race track at sea, virtual reality experiences, plus 28 local and international dining options.

“Norwegian Cruise Line is extremely proud to welcome the newest addition to our fleet, Norwegian Joy, to her home port of Shanghai, China,” NCLH China president David Herrera said in a statement.

“Norwegian Joy’s arrival demonstrates our commitment to the Chinese cruise market.  She was custom-built with Chinese cruise guests in mind.”

The Norwegian Joy will cater to the modern Chinese family, with amenities that include staterooms designed for multi-generational families, Las Vegas-style performances and a variety of luxury shopping options.

The new features, services and amenities found on the Norwegian Joy will help Norwegian Cruise Line make a massive impact in the Chinese market.