Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: March 20, 2007


" Oceania Cruises entered into an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build two, 1,260-passenger, 65,000-ton ships, with expected deliveries in fall 2010 and summer 2011. The new vessels will cost $500 million each, or $400,000 per berth, and the agreement includes an option for a third vessel that would be delivered in 2012. Oceania was recently acquired by equity firm Apollo Management.

" Silversea Cruises also ordered a ship from Fincantieri, with an option for a second. The luxury line signed a memorandum of understanding to build a 36,000-ton, 540-passenger ship, which would be scheduled for delivery in late 2009. The ship would increase Silversea's capacity by 40%, from 1,356 berths to 1,896 berths.

CARNIVAL CORP. reported that net income for the first quarter of 2007, which ended Feb. 28, was up 13% to $283 million; revenues increased 9.1% in the quarter to $2.69 billion. Increased capacity and strong pricing in Europe buoyed the results, the company said in an earnings call with analysts on March 16. The revenue increase was driven by a 7.4% increase in cruise capacity and a 1.7% increase in gross cruise revenue yields; cruise costs for first-quarter 2007 increased 1.3% over the same period of 2006.

MSC CRUISES will bring one of its new, Musica-class ships to the Caribbean in 2009, according to MSC Cruises' U.S. CEO, Rick Sasso. One of the line's 89,600-ton ships will sail seven-day itineraries from Fort Lauderdale starting Jan. 2, 2009, Sasso said. This class of ship "will hit a home run in the Caribbean," Sasso said. "You can't just put any product there." The Musica-class ships carry 2,500 passengers, and 65% of their cabins have balconies.

SWAN HELLENIC will continue to exist, in name at least. Lord Sterling, the former chairman of P&O and "life president" of P&O Cruises, reached an agreement with Carnival plc to buy the assets of the U.K.-based cruise company. Carnival Corp. had previously said that the line's sole ship, the Minerva II, would transfer to Princess Cruises in April and become the Royal Princess. Lord Sterling said that he is "actively seeking a replacement ship." David Dingle, managing director of Carnival UK, said that "the sale of Swan Hellenic is in line with Carnival's strategy of moving away from smaller niche brands."

Cruise E-Letter Editor: Johanna Jainchill

Phone: (201) 902-2065

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].


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