Princess Cruises has reported 4.4 million passenger cruise days and a load factor of 100.2 percent for 1998, compared to 4.0 million passenger cruise days and a load factor of 99.4 percent in 1997.

For the fourth quarter of 1998, Princess reported 1.2 million passenger cruise days and a load factor of 99.9 percent, compared to 988,315 passenger cruise days and a load factor of 98.1 percent in 1997.

Princess said that fourth-quarter capacity was up 17.8 percent year-over-year while occupancy achieved was up 19.9 percent. For the year as a whole, capacity increased 9.2 percent, while occupancy grew by 10.1 percent.

Princess, which will have 23 percent more capacity in 1999 than in 1998, said in the beginning of January that capacity booked was slightly ahead of last year. According to Princess, bookings for its longer cruises are a little slower, but this bas been more than compensated for by increased demand for its seven-day cruises.

The company also said that revenue yields for 1999 were up, although not to the exceptional level of 1998. In addition, unit costs are continuing to come down significantly as new capacity is introduced.

P&O

Sister company P&O Cruises reported 1.4 million passenger cruise days and a load factor of 97.3 percent in 1998, compared to 1.3 million passenger cruise days and a load factor of 97.2 percent in 1997.

P&O Cruises also reported 386,723 passenger cruise days and a load factor of 95.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 1998, compared to 224,450 passenger cruise days and a load factor of 100.4 percent in the same quarter in 1997.

According to P&O, capacity offered in the fourth quarter of 1998 was significantly higher than in 1997 as a result of a full program of cruises for all three ships.

For 1999, P&O said that booked revenue and yields were comparable to the equivalent positions at this time last year.