Caribbean Cruise Market to Stay Strong, Says Analyst

Cruise fares for the Caribbean should remain solid through at least the first half of 2008 despite the volatility of fuel prices and Americans' economic uncertainty, according to Tim Conder, managing director of Wachovia's leisure equity research group. "Pricing continues to improve through first-half 2008 in the key Caribbean market despite growing U.S. economic concerns, driven by the attractive price/value relationship of cruises relative to other land-based vacation alternatives for the consumer," Conder writes in a note to investors. Cruise pricing is monitored more for the Caribbean than any other cruising region because it's the most popular cruise market for U.S. consumers and generally one of the most profitable. Conder writes that European pricing overall is holding up, due in part to increased capacity in the region, while Alaskan pricing indicates a slight decline. (DE)

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