CORP. will build two ships for
its Norwegian Cruise Line brand to be ready for service in 2007,
including one that will equip all outside cabins with a balcony.
That ship, which will carry 2,430 passengers, will be built at Aker
Finnyards (which incorporates Kvaerner Masa-Yards) for a May 2007
delivery. The other ship, with a February 2007 delivery, will be
built by Meyer Werft and will be a replica of the 2,384-passenger
Norwegian Jewel, which is under construction at Meyer Werfts yard
in Papenburg, Germany. NCL said the orders are subject to
documentation and certain conditions such as securing specified
financing packages, before they become effective. The all-in cost
of the two ships is about $1 billion, the company said. NCL also
took an option with Aker Finnyards for a second vessel.
CORP. improved its annual profit
by nearly 53% during its fiscal 2004, earning $1.85 billion on
revenues of $9.73 billion. For the fourth quarter, which ended Nov.
30, the worlds largest cruise company earned $294 million, a 43%
year-over-year increase, on revenues of $2.24 billion.
Net yields for the
year increased 9.8%, which Carnival said was the largest annual
increase in its history. Yields rose 10.1% during the fourth
quarter, primarily due to higher ticket prices and onboard revenue
and, to a lesser extent, the strong value of the euro and
RELATIVELY QUIET on a few of its
future plans. An order for the Pinnacle Project, which is a
collaborative effort with shipbuilder Fincantieri on a massive new
build, is on hold at least until exchange rates improve. CEO Micky
Arison said a ship probably wouldnt be completed until 2009 and
thats if the dollar started gaining momentum now. And the company
deferred comments about its expected entry into the Asian market
CRUISE LINES, meanwhile, was
talking up several new initiatives during the launch of its newest
ship, the 2,974-passenger Carnival Valor. The line's executive team
continued to stress the Today's Carnival theme, which projects a
more sophisticated, less Spring-Break-party experience. CEO Bob
Dickinson was on hand to introduce the Presidential Wine Club; he
will personally select the wines of the month. The club was
promoted to passengers on the Valor (and at www.presidentialwineclub.com), and the final details
will be in place by early 2005.
COURIC, meanwhile, christened
the Valor during a pierside ceremony on Dec. 17. The vessel itself,
with a heroes theme, is pure Fun Ship, from the One Small Step
dance club (a lunar landscape), the Ivanhoe theater (knights and
castles prevail), the Washington and Lincoln restaurants (pink and
orange and Federal-style detailing) and Scarlett's Supper Club
(think antebellum South).