CruiseInd Your Industry Insider Source for Information, News and Analysis of the Cruise Industry Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:24:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 P&O’s Oriana Transferred out of Fleet Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:24:56 +0000 A fan favorite of Britain’s P&O Cruises has a new home.

Back in February, it was announced that the 1995-built Oriana will leave P&O cruises as Carnival Corp. looks to modernize the fleet.

At the time, the buyer was reported to be a Chinese company referred to as Well Star Travel Cruise. Well that company, a join venture between China Travel Services (CTS) and Chinese container giant China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), has been renamed to Astro Ocean Cruises. They currently have the one ship but according to their technical manager, they’re hoping to build up the fleet as soon as possible.

The ship has officially been transferred and has been renamed to Piano Land last week. In the photo above, we can see all signs of P&O have been removed. The funnel will stay blue it seems, but Astro will paint it with their logo. There may also be some additional lettering on the side, off the stern.

Norwegian Encore Floated Out Mon, 19 Aug 2019 19:49:34 +0000 NCL’s latest flagship has emerged from the building hall sporting her hull art.

Still on track for an October handover, Germany’s Meyer Werft shipyard celebrated one of the last remaining milestones in the construction of any cruise vessel. The ships superstructure is virtually finished, and her hull is fully completed and made seaworthy. It was time for her to meet water for the first time.

She’s still on track for an end of September Ems River transit where the giant vessel will be towed down the narrow channel leading out to the North Sea. Once that’s complete, she’ll sail a couple of seatrials and then be handed over on October 30, 2019.

The hull art is done by a Spanish artist and is being heralded as a ‘”labyrnth of color.”

NCL Reports Q2 2019 Earnings Thu, 08 Aug 2019 16:32:32 +0000 Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019, as well as provided guidance for the third quarter and full year 2019.
Norwegian Bliss


  • The Company generated GAAP net income of $240.2 million or EPS of $1.11 compared to $226.7 million or $1.01 in the prior year.  Adjusted Net Income was $282.1 million or Adjusted EPS of $1.30 compared to $271.9 million or $1.21 in the prior year.
  • Total revenue increased 9.3% to $1.7 billion. Gross Yield increased 7.5%.  Net Yield increased 5.8% on a Constant Currency basis.
  • Full Year Adjusted EPS is now expected to be in the range of $5.00 to $5.10, inclusive of a $0.45 adverse impact from the abrupt change in federal regulations surrounding cruises to Cuba and a $0.07 impact from a technical issue on Norwegian Pearl in July.  Without these headwinds, the Company’s outlook would have exceeded its May guidance primarily as a result of revenue outperformance in the second quarter, coupled with a stronger revenue outlook for the back half of the year.
  • Company on track to achieve its Full Speed Ahead 2020 targets provided at its 2018 Investor Day.

“Continued robust demand for our global brands along with our strong consumer focused value proposition, honed revenue management practices and best guest marketing strategy, enabled us to continue to drive ticket pricing higher which, when coupled with strong onboard revenue performance, resulted in record second quarter results,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.  “The underlying fundamentals of our business remain strong across all core markets, and we continue to expect record financial results in 2019, despite the impact from the change in federal regulations which resulted in the cessation of premium-priced Cuba sailings.”

Norwegian Joy sea trial

Second Quarter 2019 Results

GAAP net income was $240.2 million or EPS of $1.11 compared to $226.7 million or $1.01 in the prior year.  The Company generated Adjusted Net Income of $282.1 million or Adjusted EPS of $1.30 compared to $271.9 million or $1.21 in the prior year.

Revenue increased 9.3% to $1.7 billion compared to $1.5 billion in 2018.  This increase was primarily attributed to an increase in Capacity Days as a result of the addition of Norwegian Bliss to the fleet in 2018 along with an increase in Net Yield driven by the repositioning of Norwegian Joy to North America, robust onboard spending along with strong growth in organic pricing across all core markets. Gross Yield increased 7.5%. Net Yield increased 5.8% on a Constant Currency basis and 5.0% on an as reported basis.

Total cruise operating expense increased 11.1% in 2019 compared to 2018, primarily due to an increase in Capacity Days as a result of the addition of Norwegian Bliss to the fleet in 2018 and the redeployment of Norwegian Joy to North America.  Gross Cruise Costs per Capacity Day increased 8.3%.  Adjusted Net Cruise Cost Excluding Fuel per Capacity Day increased 6.1% on a Constant Currency basis and 5.1% on an as reported basis.

Fuel price per metric ton, net of hedges increased to $493 from $481 in 2018.  The Company reported fuel expense of $100.5 million in the period. 

Interest expense, net decreased to $66.0 million in 2019 from $73.0 million in 2018. The decrease in interest expense reflects lower outstanding debt balances and lower margins associated with recent refinancings, partially offset by newbuild financings and an increase in LIBOR. Interest expense, net also included losses on extinguishment of debt of $1.1 million in 2019 and $6.3 million in 2018.

Other income, net was income of $3.6 million in 2019 compared to income of $12.9 million in 2018. In 2019, the income is primarily related to gains from insurance proceeds and a litigation settlement partially offset by losses on foreign currency exchange, and in 2018, the income primarily related to gains on foreign currency exchange.

Ponant to Acquire Paul Gauguin Cruises Thu, 08 Aug 2019 15:46:47 +0000 French luxury expedition line Ponant have agreed to acquire Paul Gauguin Cruises.

Paul Gauguin Cruises, based in Washington state, operate just the 19,200gt m/s Paul Gauguin and sail her year-round in the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The line is currently owned by Pacific Beachcomber, a large capitol group with hospitality holdings in the region. Ponant will take ownership of the company but will run them separately from their own cruise brand.

Paul Gauguin Cruises will still retain their CEO, Diane Moore, as well as their headquarters in Bellevue, WA.

The ship originally sailed for Regent Seven Seas Cruises back when it was called Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. Shortly after Apollo Management took control of Regent (through Prestige Cruise Holdings), they sold the m/s Paul Gauguin to another group, Beachcomber, who started up Paul Gauguin Cruises.

Saga To Sell Saga Sapphire Thu, 08 Aug 2019 15:29:07 +0000 UK-based Saga Cruises have sold their oldest vessel, Saga Sapphire.

The 1981-built, 37,049gt Saga Sapphire (ex-Europa, SuperStar Aries, Bleu de France), has been sold to a Eastern European group. ANEX Tour, which look to be based in Russia with offices and branches throughout Eastern Europe, will take delivery of the vessel next summer and plan to sail her in the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean, with a possible homeport in Turkey. They are already an established package holiday operator, but have never operated a ship. This will be their first.

First Look: Oceanwide’s Hondius Sat, 03 Aug 2019 15:24:59 +0000 Netherlands based Oceanwide Expeditions just took delivery of their newbuild Hondius.

The delivery of this vessel, in May 2019, marks the start of what will be a busy expedition newbuild period for the industry. She’s a smaller expedition vessel, coming in at only around 5,000gt! She carries under 200 pax all in outside cabins. No insides and no balconies. The line describes the atmosphere onboard as cozy and informal.

Lloyds Register classed her to Polar Code 6 which is their first classing of a vessel to that high of polar standard. This is the equivilant of IMO’s Polar 1A-Super. (You may have seen Polar Code 1 or 1A out there. This is a slight step beyond that.)

The bottom-most deck, deck 3, contains all outside cabins. Amidships are the zodiac boarding areas as well as storage for expedition gear. Since the climate is so harsh, Oceanwide provides all guests with jackets and boots. This is essentially the ‘mud room’ on board.

Deck 4 has a bow observation area forward.

There’s a small outside walkway that extends down to the middle of the deck. Inside this are are 7 outside cabins on each side. The lobby is located at the end of the cabins and walkway.

The aft part is the main dining room and galley astern.

Deck 5 contains the observation lounge forward.

Tucked away around the corner of the lounge is the ships library on Starboard.

Amidships, aft of the main stairwell, is the lecture hall.

This is separated from the observation lounge forward and is an area where guests get to hear from experts and expedition leaders about what’s instore for them ashore.

The aft parts of deck 5 and 6 are outdoor areas.

Deck 6 contains larger cabins. Interestingly enough, the forward suite on the port side is not available for sale during her 2020 Antarctica season.

Deck 7 is also cabins. The bridge is forward.

Deck 8 is all outdoor and is storage for her toys.

And last but not least, of course, is her cabins.

Porthole Cabin
Porthole Quad
Window Cabin
Window Quad
Junior Suite
Grand Suite
First Look: Roald Amundsen Thu, 01 Aug 2019 22:01:48 +0000 The newest Norwegian expedition vessel has just been delivered.

Hurtigruten started life out in 1893 running mail, cargo, and passengers between remote Norwegian villages. Since then they’ve changed their name from Norwegian Coastal Voyages to Hurtigruten (Norwegian for ‘Fast route’).

They’ve always slowly been adding to the fleet. Recent additions include the Midnatsol in 2003 and Spitsbergen in 2009. These were more purposely designed for cruise service. The Fram, delivered in 2007, was their first expedition vessel.

Now they have just taken ownership of their next iteration of expedition vessels, the Roald Amundsen. She represents the first in a new class of ships. The Roald Amundsen is also the first hybrid passenger vessel ever. Fully capable of running off of battery, the ship theoretically can be a zero-emission vessel. Rolls-Royce Maritime (now Kongsberg) were tasked with developing the platform. This brand new technology led to complications during install which, coupled with the down turn in the shipbuilding market in Norway, led to a hefty delay in her, and her sisters, launch.

Since building ships in Norway can be a costly adventure, her hull and superstructure were built in Poland. She was then floated out and towed to Kleven in Norway where all the electronics, some more machinery, and furnishings were all installed.

She’s the first in the class, so let’s take a detailed look at the ship.


As an expedition vessel designed for the harsh environments first and foremost, she features a slightly higher freeboard. The bottom-most deck, actually the second deck above the waterline, contains the expedition launch area. This is where guests suit up and prepare to board the zodiacs for trips to remote beaches and islands.

Decks 4 and 5 are all outside passenger cabins. There’s a very tall atrium that features a gigantic LED screen,

Deck 6 contains some public areas. At the very front is a sheltered observation deck.

Past that, inside, is the Amundsen Science Center. This is where guests can learn and take part in lectures and presentations about their expedition and destination.

Past that is the library and reception area. And then past that are two restaurants. Fredheim restaurant which is a more casual bistro with a buffet at certain hours.

Aune main restaurant.

Deck 7 contains the top part of the bow observation area. Since she’s going to be in rough waters potentially, they took the opportunity to extend the bow as high up as possible.

Past that are balcony cabins in the front part.

Amidships is the Gym facilities.

The stern part are also more balcony cabins. The very aft cabins on this ship are the Grand Suites featuring a jacuzzi. (Imagine sailing to Antarctica and enjoying one of those on your balcony!)

Deck 8 feature more balcony cabins with suites fore and aft.

Deck 9 has the bridge at the forward part and balcony cabins aft of that. Amidships is the Lindstrøm specialty restaurant.

Deck 10 features the large Explorers observation lounge forward and mid section.

A small infinity pool with hot tubs are aft on the ship. This is a pretty striking feature that sets expedition vessels apart. Whereas a typical cruise ship with still put a pool amidships with the sundeck that surrounds it, expedition ships forgo this in favor of a small pool aft, or use it as a even a storage for toys and helipad. 

Deck 11 is all outdoors. It features a running track forward, an outdoor fitness area amidships and an observation area aft.

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Here’s also what her cabins look like:

Lindblad Reports Q2 2019 Financial Results Thu, 01 Aug 2019 16:40:27 +0000 Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2019.
National Geographic Endeavour II

Second Quarter 2019 Highlights:

  • Tour revenues increased 10% to $76.7 million 
  • Net income available to common stockholders increased $0.9 million to $1.0 million 
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 9% to $12.5 million 
  • Lindblad segment Net Yield increased 3% to $1,030 and Occupancy was 89% 
  • Commenced exchange offer for all outstanding warrants, expect to complete full redemption on August 1, 2019

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Chief Executive Officer, said “Lindblad’s strong second quarter operating results further demonstrates the opportunity we have to deliver sustained growth as we expand our capacity while maintaining high occupancy levels and net yields. The additions of the National Geographic Quest and the National Geographic Venture to our fleet over the past two years has substantially increased our available berths and the growing demand for authentic expedition travel, along with a diverse base of loyal guests, has enabled us to fill this new inventory at healthy price points. We are still in the early days of our expansion plans and with strong demand across our growing fleet, including robust early bookings for our two new polar vessels scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 2021, we are poised to build on our sustained momentum in the years ahead.”


Tour Revenues

Second quarter tour revenues of $76.7 million increased $7.2 million, or 10%, as compared to the same period in 2018. The increase was driven by growth of $5.4 million at the Lindblad segment and a $1.8 million increase at Natural Habitat.

Lindblad segment tour revenues of $64.9 million increased $5.4 million, or 9%, compared to the second quarter a year ago primarily due to a 6% increase in Available Guest Nights, mostly from the launch of the National Geographic Venture in December 2018. The year on year growth also reflects a 3% increase in Net Yield to $1,030 due primarily to higher pricing and changes in itineraries, partially offset by a slight decline in Occupancy to 89%.

Natural Habitat revenues of $11.7 million increased $1.8 million, or 18%, compared to the second quarter a year ago due primarily to higher ticket revenue from additional departures and increased pricing.

Net Income

Net income available to common stockholders for the second quarter was $1.0 million, $0.02 per diluted share, as compared with net income available to common stockholders of $0.1 million, $0.00 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2018. The $0.9 million improvement primarily reflects the higher operating results and $0.5 million in foreign currency gains as compared with $1.1 million in foreign currency losses in the second quarter of 2018. These increases were partially offset primarily by a $1.2 million increase in depreciation and amortization due largely to the addition of the National Geographic Venture to the fleet in December 2018. 

First Look: s/v Flying Clipper Wed, 31 Jul 2019 16:54:41 +0000

Not much is known about her as there are serious delays with the yard. Start Clippers isn’t even sure when they’ll take possession so they haven’t published itineraries or even deck plans. The word “Flying” doesn’t even appear in their latest brochure.

This will be the lines first newbuild since the Royal Clipper launched in 2000. The ship is modeled on the historic 5-masted France II sailing ship from the early 20th century. Her interiors also resemble the Royal Clipper, her spiritual sister.

There’s a current ongoing controversy at the yard that built her, Brodosplit in Croatia. It got so bad that Star Clippers is refusing to accept her until certain classification society standards are met. These include SOLAS’s Safe Return to Port policies that set the standard of how a ship should act after a fire or flooding casualty. It’s up to the yard and architect (or design firm) to configure it as such; the yard and contractors to build it accordingly; and the owner and class to sign off on it . Somewhere in this process there’s a disconnect, and it’s causing this finished vessel to be warm laid up in Croatia.

I get a sense that these pictures were ‘leaked’ out in an attempt from the yard to show that they built and delivered the vessel, and the onus is on Star.

Here’s a clip from a documentary about the Royal Clipper.

(Disregard the factual errors in it. As well as the spooky music)

Below deck is the bottom floor of a vast three deck atrium.

You wouldn’t expect to find something like this on a sailing vessel, but Star Clippers like to add these in. The dining room is typically on the bottom deck with a lounge surrounding it on the middle deck.

The glass dome on the top, doubles as a pool up on deck.

Below deck is the ships lobby.

As well as a spa.

There’s also a few smaller areas below deck:

Inside of the plunge pool.
Midships boutique.
Main stairwell.

Off the stern of the vessel is a wake view bar.

Up on deck is where the vessel shines even more! At the very front is the ships bridge.

From the bridge, looking aft down the ships maindeck.

Then there’s the midships pool with the atrium dome, as well as a midships bar.

There’s also a recessed, covered outdoor lounge area.

At the very back of the ship is this neat plunge pool and a figurative ships wheel.

And lastly, here’s what her cabins will look like:

All photos via Brodosplit

Royal Caribbean Cruises Reports Q2 2019 Earnings Thu, 25 Jul 2019 16:27:13 +0000 Harmony of the Seas Departing Port Everglades. Captured by Greg Dragonetti 11/5/2016
Harmony of the Seas Departing Port Everglades

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today reported record second quarter results and updated its full year Adjusted EPS guidance to a range of $9.55 to $9.65 per share versus the company’s latest midpoint guidance of $9.45 per share (including the impact of the Cuban travel restrictions).  This is an improvement of approximately $0.15 per share due to better second quarter results and an improved revenue outlook for the second half of the year.

For the second quarter, the company reported US GAAP earnings of $2.25 per share and adjusted earnings of $2.54 per share.

Azamara Club Cruises Logo and funnel off the Azamara Journey in Miami.


Second Quarter 2019 Results:

  • US GAAP Net Income was $472.8 million or $2.25 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $532.7 million or $2.54 per share. Last year, US GAAP Net Income was $466.3 million or $2.19 per share, and Adjusted Net Income was $482.2 million or $2.27 per share.
  • Gross Yields were up 9.4% in Constant-Currency (up 8.2% As-Reported). Net Yields were up 9.5% in Constant-Currency (up 8.1% As-Reported). These results include a 30 basis point negative impact related to the discontinuation of the high yielding Cuba sailings.
  • Gross Cruise Costs per Available Passenger Cruise Days (“APCD”) increased 8.2% in Constant-Currency (up 7.4% As-Reported). Net Cruise Costs (“NCC”) excluding Fuel per APCD were up 8.9% in Constant-Currency (up 8.2% As-Reported).

Full Year 2019 Outlook:

  • Adjusted earnings for the full year are expected to be in the range of $9.55 to $9.65 per share.
  • Net revenue yields are expected to increase 7.75% to 8.25% in Constant-Currency (up 6.5% to 7.0% As-Reported). This range includes approximately 70 basis points related to the discontinuation of the high yielding Cuba sailings.
  • NCC excluding Fuel per APCD are expected to be up 10.0% to 10.5% in Constant-Currency (up 9.5% to 10.0% As-Reported).

“We are elated to see our brands executing so effectively, keeping our business in an exceptionally strong position,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO.  “Our strategic focus on destinations, technology and people is clearly paying off.  And, our core products are doing exceptionally well, driven by a gratifyingly robust demand for the Caribbean.”


US GAAP Net Income for the second quarter of 2019 was $472.8 million or $2.25 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $532.7 million or $2.54 per share.  Last year, US GAAP Net Income was $466.3 million or $2.19 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $482.2 million or $2.27 per share.  The improvement over last year was mainly driven by increased revenue from our global brands.

Gross Yields were up 9.4% and Net Yields were up 9.5% in Constant-Currency, within guidance.  Better demand for onboard experiences as well as strong close-in demand for our core products fully offset the impact from the travel restrictions to Cuba which equated to 30 basis points for the quarter.

Gross Cruise Costs per APCD increased 8.2% in Constant-Currency.  NCC excluding Fuel per APCD were up 8.9% in Constant-Currency, better than guidance, driven by timing.  The travel restrictions to Cuba were neutral to NCC excluding Fuel in the second quarter.

Additionally, lower interest expense contributed to the second quarter’s positive performance.

Bunker pricing net of hedging for the second quarter was $483.8 per metric ton and consumption was 374,600 metric tons.