Carnival Corp. Reports Strong Wave Season in Latest Earnings Report

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Carnival Paradise is set to being calling at Havana, Cuba, this June. // Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Corporation reports a strong outlook for the year ahead in its latest earnings report for the first quarter of 2017.

According to the cruise company, revenue for the first quarter of 2017 totaled $3.8 billion, higher than the $3.7 billion at the same time last year.

“Our performance was driven by increased demand, particularly for our core Caribbean itineraries, leading to higher year-over-year ticket prices which enabled us to overcome the significant negative impact of both fuel and currency to exceed the high end of our guidance range,” said Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald in a written release.

The outlook for 2017 is also strong, with cumulative advance bookings for the remainder of the year well ahead of 2016 at considerably higher prices, Carnival Corp. said. During Q1 2017, booking volumes and pricing for the remainder of 2017 have been running ahead of last year.

Wave Season, our peak booking period, was strong leaving us well positioned with bookings at considerably higher prices and with less inventory remaining for sale in 2017 compared to the prior year,” said Donald. “We are clearly benefiting from our efforts to increase cruise consideration through guest experience innovations, creative marketing, and public relations programs.”

Carnival Corp. said it expects full year 2017 net revenue yields in constant currency to be up approximately 3 percent compared to the prior year, better than December guidance of up approximately 2.5 percent.

The report follows a strong Wave Season overall for many cruise lines. According to Robin Farley, a cruise industry analyst with UBS Investment Services, lines have been seeing strong volume even late in the season.

“The promotional environment continues to focus on non-cash value adds, which is a positive sign,” Farley said.

Previously, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. had reported that forward bookings are at record levels in its full year 2016 earnings report. For all of 2016, the cruise company’s U.S. GAPP (generally accepted accounting principles) earnings and adjusted earnings rose 25 percent over 2015.

Looking ahead for Carnival Corp., the company plans to roll out its new Ocean Medallion hi-tech guest experience platform, starting with Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess in November 2017 and followed by more Princess ships in 2018. Additionally, Seabourn just debuted its newest ship, Seabourn Encore. The company has also signed an agreement with Fincantieri to build two new cruise ships, the first of which will be delivered for Holland America Line in 2021 and the second of which will set sail for Princess in 2022. The company also received approval for its Carnival Cruise Line brand to offer Cuba cruises on the Carnival Paradise, which will begin calling at Havana in June 2017.

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