Posts Tagged ‘NCL’

Where Norwegian Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Lines has been generating positive cruise industry buzz over the last few weeks.  After all, the launch of its new “Cruise like a Norwegian” national adverting campaign alone would be enough garner cruisers attention.  But Norwegian topped itself with a simultaneous announcement of advance booking availability to sail its newest ship, the Breakaway as early as April 30, 2013. The Breakaway will home port in none other than the Big Apple - New York City). 

What else could we do?  We had to map all of Norwegian’s sailings for the next 12 months and let users discover how many cruisers around the world are cruising like Norwegians – by port, ship, country and month.  Discover for yourself using the interactive interface below.    

Insights into how the cruise lines are performing around the world, and how pricing changes impact forward earnings can be accessed from our proprietary database.  It tracks daily ticket prices and passenger sailings to port destinations for over 8,000 annual cruises.  With an exclusive window into the pricing of virtually every sailing, every day, world wide (including Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL), Royal Caribbean Cruises Lines (RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL)) our subscribers can view cruise revenue and passenger trends in near real time.

 


Have cruise prices and revenues softened for European sailings?

Cruise stocks have been on some ride over last few weeks.  Both Royal Caribbean (RCL) and Carnival (CCL) touched new 52-week lows early this week, only to rebound with the overall market as stock prices whipsaw in reaction to the daily cycle of news out of Europe.

Headlines jump between “Greek Default Unavoidable” to “Greek Aid Likely,” and ”Eurozone Contagion” to “Banks are Stress Tested.”

Trying to predict and trade the swings boarders on madness, but one can predict the impact on cruise cabin prices for sailings with European itineraries.

Click on the interactive chart below.  One can see with each “Priced on Month” closer to a European sailing departure, the Total Weighted Average* price has come down – more so for the nearer term sailing dates.

Indeed, European pricing trends were confirmed by Carnival’s most recent 3rd quarter earnings conference call

 “In Europe, the sovereign debt issues and the related concerns about the strength of the European banks contributed to the slowdown in EAA brand bookings. These issues, together with related declines in consumer confidence in the various markets in which we operate, seem to have contributed to the softened booking activity during this August and early September period.”

Insights into how the cruise lines are performing in other regions of the world, and how pricing changes impact forward earnings can be accessed from our proprietary database.  It tracks daily ticket prices and passenger sailings to port destinations for over 8,000 annual cruises.  With an exclusive window into the pricing of virtually every sailing, every day, world wide (including Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL), Royal Caribbean Cruises Lines (RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL)) our subscribers can view cruise revenue and passenger trends in near real time.

* Cruise Market Watch’s proprietary weighted average of the daily advertised price for each ships cruise sailing for each cabin category (on a per sailing day basis).  Weighting based on the total number of cabins on each ship in each category.

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Possible reasons one of NCL’s new F3 ships was put on hold

The latest news posted October 10, 2008 about Norwegian’s new F3 ship-build by Cruise Critic clears up some of the questions about the ship's status. In a nutshell, speculation is Norwegian may only take delivery of one of the previously two ordered ships. It likely prefers to pay a stiff penalty as opposed to the full price tag for delivery of the second ship. The shipbuilder would then shop the partially completed second ship to another buyer.

 

The reason for this turn of events might be found in the seemingly unrelated world of private equity investment.  The price tag for delivery of the full two ships would come amid a rough time for Apollo Management, the private equity firm founded in 1990 by Leon Black.  It owns 50% of Norwegian (Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises are under ownership of Prestige Cruise Holdings, Inc., a corporation also controlled by Apollo).  Oceania also has one new ship on order for 2010 and a second in 2011).

The recent stock market turn of events has squeezed many private equity firms who acquired companies in leveraged buyouts with low-cost debt. With revenue growth not materializing quickly enough to pay down the debt (due to a consumer spending slowdown) and refinancing difficult (due to the freeze on capital financing) many are struggling meet their obligations. To grow cash flows and pay down debt, they have to implement cost controls and cut new capital expenditures.

Recently, Apollo has seen several companies in its portfolio of holdings in trouble.  The home furnishings retailer Linens ‘n Things filed for liquidation.  Costume jewelry retailer Claire’s Stores and Realogy, parent of Century 21 and Coldwell Banker are reported by NY Times to be under pressure and closely watched by analysts.  Casino Harrah's has been slowly cutting jobs since early last year and may seek to amend credit agreements, according to a Deutsche Bank AG report. Lastly, a court ruled Apollo's chemical company Hexion (that was trying to back out of a $6.5 billion merger) honor terms of the agreement or face-uncapped damages for breach of contract.  Apollo forked over $540 million to help Hexion proceed on closing the court ordered deal.

All these events have transpired in the last few weeks.

 

August 2008 Cruise Search

Our monthly Cruise Search reflects change in demand and online market share. U.S. online cruise search is currently estimated at 9.4 million monthly unique individuals. Cruise Search shrank vs. both the previous month and August of last year. This indicates continued tempering in online activity likely based on the economic conditions faced by travelers.

% Change Aug '08
vs Last Year vs. Last Month
Total Internet Traffic 1.4% -0.1%
Total Cruise Search -4.9% -3.5%

Percentages in the charts below represent the approximate share of all online cruise traffic.

Chart 1 - % of traffic for top Cruise Lines from all cruise related traffic (click to enlarge)

 

CruiseSearch August 2008 Online Cruise Agent TrafficChart 2 - % of traffic for top booking sites from all cruise related traffic (click to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: Google Trends, Comscore