NCL Corporation, parent company of NCL America and Norwegian Cruise Line, today announced the temporary withdrawal of Pride of Hawai`i from the Hawai`i market effective February 2008. The ship will be deployed to Europe for the summer of 2008 as part of the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet.
NCL's substantial 2006 losses, reported in February of this year, have been caused by downward pricing pressure in the Hawai`i market following the addition of Pride of Hawai`i to the fleet last summer, and the steep increase in the amount of foreign flag competition entering the Hawai`i market from the west coast.
We take this action with regret, but sure in the knowledge that a temporary retrenchment is the right thing to do for the good of the business and the good of Hawai`i in the long run, said Colin Veitch, NCL Corporation's president and CEO. We remain committed to building a strong U.S. Flag cruise business home ported in Hawai`i , and we need to make sure that our other two ships, Pride of Aloha and Pride of America, are able to achieve acceptable profitability before we can confidently re-introduce Pride of Hawai`i.
According to Veitch, NCL America has grown very quickly over three years, and its competitors have also surged, starting in 2006, offering almost 80 percent additional capacity days on top of NCL America's in 2007.
Clearly we are victims of our own success," Veitch continued. We have demonstrated that Hawai`i is a highly attractive cruise destination and Hawai`i now has four times as much capacity serving it in 2007 as it did in 2004 when we started NCL America.
We are now very hopeful that this latest measure will make the critical difference in ensuring the success of this important venture. We continue to have a vision of a strong domestic cruise industry in Hawai`i and firmly believe that the combination of steps we have now taken will result in a strong NCL America delivering the best cruise itinerary anywhere in the world with the very highest standard of service at sea, Veitch concluded.
For guests booked on Pride of Hawai`i in February 2008 and beyond, NCL is offering a $50 on-board credit per stateroom for those who rebook by May 1, 2007, on Pride of America, Pride of Aloha or any ship in the NCL fleet. Guests choosing to cancel will receive a full refund.