Ambassadors International posted a loss of $5.8 million revenues of $12.6 million for Windstar Cruises for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010, compared to loss of $11.4 million on revenues of $16.1 million for the same quarter last year. Windstar is able to command gross ticket revenue and onboard spending per passenger day that are significantly higher than the numbers reported by the major cruise companies, but significantly higher operating costs and lower occupancy offset higher ticket revenue and onboard spending.
STX Europe said it finds the cruise and ferry market still challenging in its first quarter report, but that the medium to long-term business outlook for the sector has improved. However, the reduced order backlog creates significant operational challenges and financial losses within the business area for 2010.
While the Spanish economy is struggling, the Spanish cruise brands are adapting and to some extent reaching out to new markets. Pullmantur Cruises will have an estimated annual passenger capacity of 350,000 in 2010 and is targeting markets in Central and South America, and Northern European tourists to Spain, in addition to the Spanish market. Iberocruceros continues to focus mainly on the Spanish market, sailing in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands and Northern Europe, and also going to South America during the winter. The smaller of the two brands, Iberocruceros has an estimated passenger capacity of 200,000.
Hurtigruten posted a net positive result from its Antarctica cruises during the first quarter. Considering the high per diems generated for all of its services, Hurtigruten could have posted net earnings if it could operate as a cruise company and were not committed to running 24/7 coastal service in Norway. However, the company receives government funding for running that service, which makes it difficult, if not impossible, to tell if Hurtigruten would be viable as a stand along company if it could adjust its service according to demand.
And there is more: Royal Caribbean International continues to push the bar, this time on entertainment and shore excursions; financial reports from TUI AG, TUI Travel and TMM; BAE Systems has entered into an agreement to acquire Atlantic Marine; UK market expected to set new record in 2010; how big is the Chinese market? – really; and more.