Norwegian Cruise Line boss nets $1.3m in the share sale

Image result for andy stewart nCL

Norwegian Cruise Line boss Andy Stuart netted $1.3 million from the sale of shares.

He sold 25,000 shares in parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in two tranches last week, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The sale at $50 per share came after the company reported record second-quarter financial results with earnings of $240.2 million for the three months to June 30.

The lift in profits came despite the impact of the abrupt US government ban on cruise ships calling into Cuba and a technical problem with the ship Norwegian Pearl which forced one cruise to be amended and another to be canceled.

Company president and CEO Frank Del Rio said at the time: “The underlying fundamentals of our business remain strong across all core markets, and we continue to expect record financial results in 2019, despite the impact from the change in federal regulations which resulted in the cessation of premium-priced Cuba sailings.”

NCLH has a market capitalization of $10.88 billion and controls NCL alongside Oceania and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Engine problems on the Norwegian Pearl.

Thousands of passengers are stuck in Barcelona on a stricken cruise ship while another of its voyages has been cancelled with just days’ notice

Norwegian Pearl, which was sailing a 13-day voyage from northern Europe to the Mediterranean when it experienced a technical issue - leaving passengers stranded in Barcelona
Norwegian Pearl

A mechanical issue has left thousands of cruise passengers stuck in Barcelona, while another of its voyages has been cancelled entirely with just days’ notice.

Norwegian Pearl was sailing a 13-day voyage from northern Europe to the Mediterranean when it experienced a technical issue – causing it to travel at a slower speed.

The problem meant the ship, which has 2,300 guests on board, missed a stop in Palma, Majorca, as well as Monte Carlo and is currently stranded in the Spanish city.

Additionally, an upcoming cruise of the Greek Isles and Italy, which was due to depart on Friday (July 5), has been cancelled much to the fury of its passengers.

She said: ‘We were supposed to depart to Livorno at 6am and only miss the second port of call.

‘They changed it around 9am to tell us we may not be able to go to Civitavecchia (Rome), will not be travelling to Livorno, will be receiving a 50 per cent refund and credit for a future cruise. If guests wanted to fully disembark they were allowed to and to make other travel arrangements.

‘Then they announced we will not be sailing to Civitavecchia, our last port of call where most guests have flights booked. We are now kindly asked to disembark the ship by Friday at noon.’

A picture taken by Cheyenne Lewis, a passenger on the cruise, showing people lining up at guest services to try and re-arrange their travel plans

A picture was taken by Cheyenne Lewis, a passenger on the cruise, showing people lining up at guest services to try and re-arrange their travel plans

She continued: ‘A good portion of the guests aren’t from Europe and will be spending a lot in fees to get to another destination. They are reimbursing $300 for airfare costs and have given customers an hour of free WiFi.

‘However, flight tickets will soon run out or be price gouged.

‘I was fortunate enough to have a WiFi package so when the first announcement about disembarking came on, I just bought my family and I flights to Rome and a hotel room.

‘However, from what I’ve heard walking around, some of the flights are not remotely close to the $300 guests will be reimbursed.’

Another passenger Kelly Flint expressed her frustration on Twitter posting: ‘Stuck on Norwegian Pearl in Barcelona. Already missed two shore stops. No info from NCL.

‘Learned on the internet that next cruise has been cancelled. Don’t know how to get to Rome for flights home. Come on NCL.’

Several passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration at being stuck in Barcelona

Several passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration at being stuck in Barcelona

Jessica Monroe also took to social media to vent her anger.

‘Still stuck on the Norwegian Pearl in Barcelona. They said we’d leave at 6am, pretty sure the engine still won’t start. Can they update us so I can book a flight out of Barcelona?’

While Simon also tweeted: ‘I was on the Norwegian Epic last February when we missed all ports of call due to engine problems. Used credits to book Norwegian Pearl – now cancelled due to engine problems. Want to vacation with you again but you’re not making it easy.’

A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line said: ‘On July 1, 2019, Norwegian Pearl, which is currently sailing a 13-day repositioning cruise from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean, experienced a mechanical issue which necessitates that she travel at a reduced speed.

‘As such, she did not call to Palma, Majorca, and instead sailed directly to Barcelona where further assessments were made.

‘Due to necessary repairs, Norwegian Pearl’s upcoming Greek Isles and Italy sailing departing on July 5, 2019, will be cancelled.

‘We recognise the disappointment and inconvenience our guests have experienced as a result of this unforeseen situation and we offer our sincere apologies.

‘Our team is working diligently to assist all of our guests, and we thank them for their continued support and loyalty.’

Norwegian Cruise Line to deploy six ships in Europe in 2019

Norwegian Bliss entering Southampton, photo by Dave Jones

Norwegian Cruise Line will deploy an additional ship in Europe next summer.

The 2,394-passenger Norwegian Pearl will offer ex-Amsterdam itineraries and sailings from Rome, Barcelona and Venice, having spent the 2018 summer season sailing out of the US.

Pearl will join five other NCL vessels in Europe: Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Jade.

The sailings will go on sale on July 31, while Norwegian Jade and Spirit’s new 2019 programme will become available to sell on August 6.

NCL will deploy Norwegian Spirit in China from the summer of 2020, but next year it will operate ex-Southampton itineraries.

Nick Wilkinson, NCL’s vice president and managing director of UK & Ireland, said the decision was made in response to customer demand from Europe.

He said: “If you look at the robust demand environment around the world which was demonstrated by Norwegian Bliss – the best selling ship in our history – customers were booking nine, 12 and 18 months in advance.

“The message to the trade is this is our commitment to Europe. There are some great itineraries in the programme which gives agents more choice to offer their clients. The new home port in Amsterdam or Rome, for example.”

The 2,000 passenger-capacity Norwegian Spirit vessel will undergo a bow-to-stern revamp as part of the Norwegian Edge fleet refurbishment.

Spirit’s journey from Europe to Asia will feature sailings which include maiden calls for the line in South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles and the Maldives.

Jade will offer a season of sailings throughout south-east Asia, departing from Singapore and Hong Kong in winter 2019/20.

Ports of call include in-demand locations such as Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Long Bay.

Frank Del Rio, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’s president and chief executive, said: “The booming demand environment in our core markets around the world, coupled with Norwegian Bliss’ record-breaking performance, continue to exceed our expectations.

“As a result, we are leveraging the strategic benefits of our growing fleet to quickly seize sizeable opportunities in overperforming, and unserved markets to meet the demands of our global customer base and drive higher returns for our shareholders.”