|Photo by Susan J. Young|
Based on the UBS Data Tracker, a weekly look at cruise fare levels, Costa fares may be headed in the right direction. Costa's fares, down nearly eight percent for the week ended April 1, were stable for the week ended April 8.
Analyst Robin Farley of UBS Investment Research said Carnival Corporation had previously included a 13-25 percent net yield decline from the Costa brand in its 2012 corporate earnings guidance, so she noted that while the eight percent drop last week is sharp, it's within the range of company expectations.
UBS said eastern and western Mediterranean, northern European, and other European sailings have been the weakest performers over the past week with fares down from one percent to five percent on a two-week cumulative basis.
Yet, UBS also said that "should be expected given the drastic pricing decrease for the Costa brand, which is skewed to European sailings." Mediterranean pricing has continued its downward pricing trend since February.
For the 2012 cruising season, cruise prices across the Caribbean have been down the past month or so, although they are still up since the start of the year, said Farley.
Alaska pricing "is flattish week-over-week" she told investors, noting that Alaska pricing has remained flat since the start of the year.