MIAMI — Carnival Corp’s advance bookings for the first three quarters of 2016 are “well ahead” of the prior year at slightly higher constant currency prices, said Carnival Corporation & plc President and CEO Arnold Donald. Since September, booking volumes for the first three quarters of 2016 are in line with last year’s levels at higher prices.
“As we had anticipated, with less inventory remaining for sale, we have begun to sell at higher prices than the same time last year, particularly close to departure, affirming our expectation of continued yield improvement in 2016,” said Donald.
Carnival Corp.’s net income for 2015 was US$2.1 billion, up from $1.5 billion in 2014. Revenues for the full year were $15.7 billion compared to $15.9 billion in 2014, a drop Carnival attributed to unfavourable impact from currency exchange rates of over $800 million.
“We nearly doubled our fourth quarter results and ended the year with 40% higher earnings,” said Carnival Corporation & plc President and CEO Arnold Donald.
The company’s 10 cruise brands now operate 99 ships, with 18 new ships scheduled for delivery between 2016 and 2022.
Highlights during the fourth quarter included the grand opening of Carnival’s new cruise facility Amber Cove in the D.R., and the launch of P&O Cruises Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, and the expansion of several Carnival Corp. lines into the Chinese market.
Plus, four new ships are scheduled to enter service for Carnival Corporation brands in 2016: Holland America Line’s Koningsdam and AIDAprima (April), Carnival Vista (May) and Seabourn Encore (December).
Meanwhile Costa Cruises has announced it will move to a direct sell model in the UK. As reported in TravelMole, the change in distribution will take effect February 2016.
“Customers are becoming increasingly savvy with booking travel online and Costa are able to process all sales through their online platforms if required,” said the cruise line. “We believe that a direct sales model, for the type of market the UK represents for us and the digital behavior of the UK customer, is the best way to serve the needs of the market moving forward.”
Costa’s highest volume agency partner in the UK, Cruise Nation, says it will fight the move, according to Travel Weekly in the UK. “I’ve told Costa I will fly anywhere for this meeting and they’ve agreed to meet,” said Phil Evans, Managing Director of Cruise Nation. “The trade wasn’t consulted on this so it came as a real surprise. It makes you realize that any company can go direct-sell at any time and that’s a scary prospect.”