Carnival Corp. 2020 Outlook

Carnival Corporation provided adjusted earnings guidance for 2020 on today’s Q4 and year-end earnings call from $4.30 to $4.60 per share, compared to 2019 adjusted earnings of $4.40 per share.

Carnival President and CEO Arnold Donald said that he expects cruise revenues to be up approximately 5 per cent on capacity growth year-over-year of 6.6 per cent.

At this point, he said, the company is entering 2020 with a record booked occupancy position but at slightly lower prices.

Donald noted the headwinds Carnival has faced this year, some of which will continue into 2020, including the impact of Cuba being off-limits to cruise calls, events in the Arabian Gulf, Hurricane Dorian, unscheduled drydocks and ship delays, compounded by a decline in market demand in Continental Europe, particularly Germany, while Southern Europe is also challenging.

Noting these as “unusual events,” Donald said they had had a $0.23 negative impact on 2019 earnings.

In order to improve the market situation and accelerate demand growth in Southern Europe, Donald said that two older ships are being removed from the Costa fleet in 2020, following the recent introduction of the new Costa Smeralda. He said the new ship is much more efficient than the ships being removed.

In the UK, Carnival has been able to grow revenue yield despite Brexit, and Donald noted that P&O Cruises’ New Iona is looking at a significant premium over other ships on comparable itineraries.

In North America, the Caribbean is strong and so is Alaska. However, Alaska is seeing what he called an over-concentration of capacity and will need to absorb another industrywide capacity increase of 10 per cent in 2020, on top of a 15 per cent capacity increase in 2019.

As for China, Donald said Carnival will focus on its new joint venture cruise line. Meanwhile, he said, Costa had a good year in China in 2019 and looks forward to another good year in 2020, with more direct business, but is also happy with its charter model.

Carnival will essentially have six new ships in six different markets for the full year in 2020, starting with the Carnival Panorama, which just entered service on the West Coast, the Costa Smeralda in Southern Europe; P&O’s Iona in the UK; the Enchanted Princess in Europe and North America; the Mardi Gras in Florida; and the Costa Firenze in China.

According to Donald, Carnival is also accelerating marketing and media spend in all of its key markets to drive demand in 2020.

Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria to Leave P&O Australia Fleet in 2021

Pacific Aria

The Pacific Dawn (Ex-Regal Princess (1991–2007))
P&O Cruises Australia has announced that the Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria will leave the fleet in 2021 as the Pacific Encounter will join the company; the ship is currently sailing as the Star Princess.

Buyers for the 1994-built Pacific Aria, with capacity for 1,258 guests, and the 1991-built Pacific Dawn, with capacity for 2,020 guests, were not named.

In 2020, the Golden Princess will move to P&O Australia and become the Pacific Adventure.

In late 2021, the Pacific Explorer, Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter will comprise the new look P&O fleet with a total capacity of about 9,000 guests — equivalent to the brand’s capacity when the fleet consisted of five smaller ships, the company said. 

In announcing the farewell of Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria, P&O said the ships would not leave the fleet until February and April 2021 respectively.

“We have a clear picture of the P&O fleet of the future and it is a very exciting prospect with the brand well-positioned to continue to lead in this dynamic market,” said P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell. 

“When we embarked on this transformation two years ago, we committed to refresh the fleet over time and to set the brand up for continued success.

“P&O’s Pacific Adventure will be introduced with our distinctive look and feel along with some new onboard features that means P&O Cruises remains the driving force for cruising in Australia and New Zealand.

“For all of us at P&O, the announcement that Pacific Encounter will be the next ship to join the fleet in 2021 is another exciting moment in the evolution of our cruise line.

“It is always sad to farewell much-loved ships. Both ships are close to our hearts with Pacific Dawn particularly special to us and the many thousands of guests who have sailed on her.”

P&O wants to give guests every opportunity to sail on Pacific Dawn’s final cruise as the ship will depart Melbourne on February 8, 2021 sailing to Singapore via Brisbane. There are three great options for guests to farewell the ship:

• Option One — a fantastic short break cruise from Melbourne to Brisbane.
• Option Two — the Asia and Explorer cruise from Brisbane to Singapore.
• Option Three — the ‘full farewell’, a combined 17-nights voyage from Melbourne right through to Singapore.

The Pacific Aria will depart Melbourne on April 9, 2021 sailing to Singapore via Fremantle with three options:

• Option One — a fantastic six-night ‘Southern Discovery’ cruise from Melbourne to Fremantle calling at Esperance and Albany
• Option Two — the Asia and Australia Explorer 12-night cruise from Fremantle to Singapore
• Option Three — the ‘full farewell’, a combined 18-nights voyage from Melbourne right through to Singapore via Fremantle.

P&O Britannia In Midst of Key Refit

Britannia Post refit Atrium

P&O Cruises UK announced that the Britannia will feature refreshed interiors following its October stay at Damen shipyard in Brest. 

The atrium will be given a new lease of life creating a lively social hub at the heart of the ship, day and night, the company said.

This space will have new eye-catching colour schemes, fresh design direction, relaxed entertainment, live music and informal performances all under the sparkling Starburst chandelier.

Following the success of temporary art exhibitions on Britannia, P&O Cruises is introducing a permanent new art gallery next to Blue Bar. The deck 5 experience can be completed by savouring some sweet treats from master pâtissier and Food Hero Eric Lanlard at The Market Café. The popular spot has already benefited from new furniture and décor, as well as a menu with decadent ice cream creations made in an exclusive collaboration with Hampshire dairy, Jude’s, the company said. 

Guests will now have even more reason to check into the Oasis Spa and Salon with the creation of two express spa pods boasting a range of treatments.

On deck 7, Java café will now serve alcoholic drinks; guests can relax with a drink and enjoy the birds-eye view of the action below. Also on deck 7, the photo gallery will include a Dixon’s electronics hub featuring the latest imaging, computing and audio tech from Amazon, Apple, Beats, Bose, Canon, Fitbit, GoPro, Microsoft, and Sony, among others.

Britannia will be back in Southampton on October 23 for a two-night cruise to Bruges (B929) before it’s transatlantic crossing (B930) to the Caribbean.