NCL Reports Q1

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) reported net income of $5.2 million on revenues of $424.5 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009, compared to a net loss of $145.0 million on revenues of $511.5 million for the first quarter of 2008.

The turnaround was attributed to the restructuring of NCL’s Hawaii operation, as well as increased focus on costs, according to CEO Kevin Sheehan.

NCL said that although pricing continues to be soft, booking levels remain strong and occupancy rates should equal or exceed those of last year. The booking curve has lengthened slightly, although it is shorter compared to historical levels. “We see signs of improvement,” Sheehan said. “An expanding booking curve, however slight, as well as record occupancy levels are signs that the marketplace is receptive to cruising as a vacation choice. We are optimistic that we are introducing new people to our brand and bringing in new cruisers to the market,” Sheehan said.

Mexico Efforts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) downgraded its recommendation against non-essential travel to Mexico to a travel health precaution for Mexico as of last Friday afternoon. Carnival Cruise Lines immediately announced that its ships are returning as soon as they complete their previously modified itineraries (by mid-June).

On Top

“We are expecting a good year,” said Bob Lepisto, president of Seadream Yacht Club. “Last year was a record-breaking year with 100 percent occupancy. Through the first quarter of 2009, Seadream also enjoyed 100 percent occupancy,” he said, “and 82 percent of the revenues for the year are already booked, compared to 89 percent last year at the same time.” Lepisto dispelled emphatically that contrary to rumors, Seadream is not for sale. Meanwhile, Norwegian Atle Brynestad who is sole owner, has been consolidating his holdings in Norway and Sweden and some of his properties and companies have been put up for sale.

And there is more: Thomson ranked second in the UK; Turkish ports are building up their presence; Hong Kong aims for 2014; CDF update; Topics on the table in European cruise forum; Dubailand.

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