Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Reports 2017 Booked Position at Historic High

This year saw the announcement of the new Norwegian Bliss, set to sail in Alaska in 2018.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) just became the latest cruise company to report a strong start to 2017, describing its 2017 booked position as a “historic high.” That’s from its new earnings report for the fourth quarter and full year 2016, which the line just released.

Excluding the benefit of Norwegian Joy, 2017 pricing is trending slightly higher than last year, the company said, crediting renewed demand from North American guests for European voyages, with Caribbean, Alaska and Hawaii itineraries showing continued strength. This year will also see the debut of the Norwegian Joy, the line’s first purpose-built ship for the cruise market in China, as well as 41 itineraries to the growing destination of Cuba across its three brands — Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. NCLH also just announced four next generation, new build cruise ships with a capacity of 3,300 passengers, to be delivered in 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025 with an option for two additional ships to be delivered in 2026 and 2027.

NCLH reported strong numbers for 2016 as well, with total revenue up 12.2 percent to $4.9 billion. Adjusted net yield also increased 1.8 percent on a constant currency basis.

2016 saw a number of new product offerings from the company, including the launch of Seven Seas Explorer and Oceania’s Sirena, as well as the debut of Harvest Caye, a new private island destination in the western Caribbean. The company also received approval for all three of its cruise brands to sail to Cuba, and it announced two new ships: the newbuild Norwegian Bliss, set to debut in 2018 in Alaska, and a second Explorer Class Ship for Regent Seven Seas Cruises in 2020.

"2016 marks another record year of earnings, continuing our track record of solid EPS growth, which has grown fivefold since 2013, the year of our initial public offering," said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.  "This solid revenue and earnings trend is expected to continue in 2017 as we are now in the best booked position in our company’s history with pricing slightly above the prior year."

The report is the latest in a series of strong signs for the cruise industry, including record forward bookings for Royal Caribbean in its 2016 earnings report, as well as a study by cruise wholesaler Tourico Holidays showing cruise bookings up 38 percent in January.

Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises aren’t the only lines sailing to Cuba – here’s a look at the latest itineraries that were just announced to the once-forbidden island.