Cruise Pricing Is Steady, Says UBS Warburg Analyst

UBS Warburg's latest Cruise Data Tracker reports steady cruise pricing. "We continue to see no significant sequential declines in average prices, with week-over-week ticket prices looking somewhat flat sequentially for the third straight week, and up 1 percent since the start of the year," an investors' report issued today stated.
 
The company tracks price changes for more than 7,000 sailings. The tracking averages the lowest-priced outside cabins for sailings on the six largest North America sourcing cruise lines and two of the largest European-sourcing cruise lines.
 
Despite the positive overall view that pricing has not significantly declined, the Cruise Data Tracker did notice that Royal Caribbean International and Holland America Line prices were "down just slightly this week after several positive weeks" but said those firms' pricing was still up for the year to date.
 
Costa Cruises' ticket prices, which had been down significantly, moved up slightly, and are now up 1 percent since the start of the year.
 
However, analyst Robin Farley told UBS Warburg's investors that Costa most likely started the year at a lower price point year-over-year and it opted to maintain pricing for the weeks after Costa Concordia's accident, in lieu of worrying about load factor.
 
"The Carnival Cruise brand recovered slightly sequentially this week, but pricing is still down...since the beginning of the year," the report said, adding, "though Cunard pricing saw a modest recovery this week, the brand has been the weakest performer of the brands we track, down slightly since the start of the year."
 
Based on the Cruise Data Tracker,  pricing for Alaska and Caribbean sailings were each "flattish week-over-week" said UBS Warburg and are up up 1-2 percent and 1 percent respectively since the beginning of the year.
 
While western Mediterranean cruise pricing was up somewhat, it's still down since the beginning of the year, and eastern Mediterranean cruise pricing remains down.

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