Ships in Barcelona

Cruise Industry News takes a look at the financial performance of the “big three” following the third quarter of 2016.

• Net income per passenger day was nicely up for all three companies year-over-year, with Royal Caribbean Cruises posting the most growth. However, their 2015 numbers were impaired by a write-down on Pullmantur. For Carnival, operating income per passenger day was down $0.62, while Royal and Norwegian posted gains.

• Net ticket revenue per passenger day rose only for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which added two high-yielding ships to its fleet for Q3 in the Regent Explorer and Oceania’s Sirena. Onboard spending was also nicely up for Norwegian, attributed to its NCL brand. While at Carnival and Royal, ticket revenue was slightly down and onboard spending flat.

• Cost cutting to success: With the biggest fleet, Carnival Corp. saved $80 million on fuel in the third quarter compared to a year ago, compared to $21 million and $2.5 million in savings, respectively, for Royal and Norwegian. Other expense categories were also down across the board for the most part.