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Caribbean discounting continued through FQ1 2014 while European pricing was mixed.

Below are some observations from our proprietary pricing survey for CCL, RCL, and NCLH.  We analyze YoY trends, as well as relative trends, which are determined by pricing compared to the last earnings/guidance date for a cruise operator i.e. CCL: 6/25; RCL: 7/25; NCLH: 7/29.  For a more detailed analysis, please contact us at .

  • CCL:  Heavy discounting in the Caribbean extended to FQ1 2014.  Early signs point to a brand pricing recovery starting in late FQ2.  However, Wave Season will dictate the health of the Caribbean market where higher capacity and a very competitive promotional environment exist.   Europe remains steady.
  • RCL:  Given the strength in European pricing, we believe it’s enough to offset the Caribbean weakness.  RCL should meet or exceed its FY 2013 guidance.  Surprisingly weak 2014 pricing across most brands has us worried, however. FQ2 comps are nowhere near as easy as CCL and pricing in that quarter looks weak in the Caribbean.
  • NCLH:  Close-in Caribbean pricing was lower in September.  Breakaway and Getaway maintained nice price premiums.   

CCL

Caribbean – Carnival brand

  • FQ4 close-in pricing remained lower in the double digits YoY, though continued to improve MoM
  • FQ1 2014 is a red flag as pricing dipped even lower in the last month and the trend was negative  
  • However, FQ2 2014 pricing had made a full U-turn in the last two months and was modestly higher
  • Early FQ3 2014 pricing was nicely higher with positive pricing trend

Europe

  • Costa’s pricing for the upcoming quarters had been relatively stable.  We estimate overall Costa FQ4 2013 YoY pricing was +20%.  The pricing trend was slightly positive for FY 2014.
  • Overall, Royal Princess pricing improved in September
  • AIDA FQ4 2013 pricing in the Western Europe/Med remained lower.  Pricing trend was flat for 2014.

Alaska

  • Holland America summer 2014 pricing was modestly higher in Alaska, though pricing trend deteriorated in September.  Princess pricing was nicely higher in the double digits YoY.

Asia, Mexico, South America

  • Asia 
    • Costa and Holland America’s FQ1 2014 pricing trend were flat. Princess’s pricing for its sparse itineraries was higher for FQ2 2014.         
  • Mexico
    • Carnival brand pricing for FQ4 and FQ1 2014 worsened, while FQ2 pricing turned nicely higher
    • Princess discounted prices by a significant amount in September
  • South America
    • Costa’s pricing trend was modestly higher.  Holland America continued its struggles with FQ4 pricing down significantly and FQ2 2014 pricing slightly lower.  Princess’s FQ1 pricing trend turned negative in September.

RCL

Caribbean

  • RC brand:  YoY pricing worsened slightly for FQ4, FQ1 and FQ2 periods.  
  • Celebrity:  Pricing slightly improved from lower prices in August for FQ4 but FQ1 prices were unchanged
  • Pullmantur:  Flat pricing trend for FQ1, however significant discounting for FQ2 itineraries

Europe

  • RC brand:  FQ4 close-in pricing remain very strong but FQ2 2014 pricing was -17% YoY
  • Celebrity:  Major red flag for FQ2 2014 as pricing remained lower substantially and pricing trend was negative.  
  • Azamara:  2014 pricing was flat
  • Pullmantur:  FQ2 2014 pricing was hit by substantial discounting.  Flat pricing for 2H 2014.

Alaska

  • RC brand & Celebrity:  Pricing down double digits YoY for Q2 2014 

Asia and South America

  • Asia 
    • RC brand & Celebrity:  Pricing was nicely higher
    • Azamara:  Flat pricing
  • South America
    • Celebrity:  Sparse itineraries flat for Q1 2014 but pricing was slightly higher

NCLH


Caribbean

  • Close-in FQ4 pricing was modestly weaker in September.  FQ 2014 pricing trend was slightly positive.
  • Breakaway:  steady pricing, maintained 35-40% pricing premium over Gem
  • Getaway: steady pricing with 50%-60% pricing premium over Epic and Sun

Europe/Alaska

  • Steady pricing for 2014

Hawaii

  • Slightly positive close-in FQ4 pricing  Flat pricing for FQ2 2014.