NCLH future cruise demand at record levels

Company targets all 28 ships across three brands to return to service by April

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) Ltd, whose brands include Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, has reported ongoing strong pent-up demand for cruising across all brands as the company prepared to relaunch its first cruise in the US in over 500 days.

NCL’s Norwegian Encore recommenced operation from Seattle to Alaska over the weekend, following on from Norwegian Jade‘s return to service in the Greek Isles in recent weeks.

While providing financial results for the second quarter of 2021 last Friday [6 August 2021], President and CEO of NCLH, Frank Del Rio, remarked: “We are ready and eager to welcome guests back onboard and continue to see incredible strength in our booking trends for future cruises.”

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Del Rio reiterated the company, across its three brands and 28 ships, was targeting a full fleet return to operation by April 2022 “to capitalise on this unparalleled pent-up demand”.

Before then, NCLH expects to have approximately 40% of its fleet capacity operating by the end of Q3 2021, and 75% by the end of 2021.

The company said the booking environment continues to be strong for future periods, “despite reduced sales and marketing investments and a travel agency industry that has not been at full strength since the start of the pandemic”. NCLH’s booking and pricing trends have maintained positive ground, fuelled by pent-up demand.

“The Company is experiencing robust future demand across all brands with the overall cumulative booked position for full year 2022 meaningfully ahead of 2019’s record levels at higher pricing even when including the dilutive impact of future cruise credits[FCCs],” NCLH said.

Frank Del Rio, President and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd

Norwegian Spirit Australia restart?

Meanwhile, Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO, Harry Sommer, said on Friday he was hopeful the contemporary cruise brand would return to cruising in Australia and Asia in early 2022.

Sommer said he had been encouraged by Australian PM Scott Morrison’s plan to return to a level of normality if the country could achieve an 80% vaccination rate, which it is targeting by the end of the year.

“We hope we can start cruising again in the Australia and New Zealand bubble in early February of next year,” Sommer remarked.

Lead image: The Haven by Norwegian, Hot tub on balcony, Norwegian Prima

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