Travel Weeklys Cruise E-letter: Sept. 21, 2004

CARNIVAL CORP. surpassed the billion-dollar earnings mark during third-quarter 2004, recording a $1.03 billion profit on revenue of $3.2 billion for the quarter ending Aug. 31. It marked the first time the company had eclipsed the billion-dollar mark for a quarter. Carnival recorded net income of $734 million on revenue of $2.5 billion during the same period in 2003. Net revenue yields increased 10.9%; Carnival said the jump was primarily due to higher cruise ticket prices and onboard revenue and, to a lesser extent, the weak dollar relative to the euro and the pound. Occupancy for the quarter was 110.2%, up about a percentage point from third-quarter 2003.


LOOKING TO CARNIVALS FOURTH QUARTER, the company said advance booking levels are higher vs. the prior years levels on a capacity-adjusted basis, with pricing also ahead of last year. Net revenue yields for the fourth quarter are expected to grow approximately 7% to 9% compared with fourth-quarter 2003, despite the negative impact of Hurricane Frances. 

HURRICANE DAMAGE over the past few weeks has halted cruise calls to Grand Cayman, Grenada, Grand Bahama Island and some of the lines private islands, such as Royal Caribbean Internationals Coco Cay. The Caribbean Princess was able to call in Montego Bay, Jamaica, last week, and Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean planned to resume Jamaica calls this week.

SEVERAL SHIPS were moved for Hurricane Ivan, including Carnivals Holiday, which was rerouted from New Orleans to Galveston, Texas. Meanwhile, Jeannes path along the eastern end of the Caribbean affected several ships itineraries. And off of Mexicos Baja Peninsula, Royal Caribbean International moved the Monarch of the Seas and the Legend of the Seas to avoid Hurricane Javier, the Pacific Basins J storm.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONALS six Norwegian-flagged ships will fly the Bahamian flag by early 2005. Parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises said moving those ships into the Bahamas registry affects about 400 Royal Caribbean shipboard employees covered by collective bargaining agreements required by the Norwegian International Ship Registry, but it said it plans to keep compensation levels for those employees at or above their current levels for a two-year transition period. Royal Caribbean Internationals other 13 ships as well as Celebritys nine vessels already fly the Bahamian flag. 


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