Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Sheehan: NCL pricing has softened

Sheehan: NCL pricing has softened

By Tom Stieghorst

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Kevin Sheehan told Wall Street analysts on Tuesday that pricing has softened some since the late fourth quarter, when it was selling 2014 inventory at double-digit increases from the year before.

At the time, Sheehan said load factors were higher for the second, third and fourth quarters and lower for the first quarter, when Norwegian has 72% of its capacity in the Caribbean.

Sheehan said he had hoped to continue pricing unchanged.

“Unfortunately, that didn’t play out. As that period progressed, we needed to adjust our pricing somewhat to get to the finish line,” he said.

In a conference call, one analyst wondered when Norwegian’s newest ships, the Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway, would be recognized as so good as to be above the competitive scrum of promotional competition.

“We are obviously waiting for that moment in time,” Sheehan said.

He said that keeping ships in Europe rather than bringing them back to the U.S. has proven to be the correct strategy for 2014.

“We’re feeling a little bit better about the Wave season as we get through each week,” Sheehan said.