MIAMI — Forward bookings for the rest of 2017 for Carnival Corp.’s cruise lines are outpacing 2016 at considerably higher prices, according to the cruise company’s first quarter results.
Both booking volumes and pricing for the remainder of 2017 are running ahead of last year, said the company.
“We are off to a good start delivering another quarter of operational improvement on top of a very strong first quarter last year,” said Carnival Corporation & plc President and CEO Arnold Donald. Carnival Corp.’s performance was driven by increased demand, particularly for its core Caribbean itineraries, leading to higher year-over-year ticket prices which allowed the cruise company to overcome “the significant negative impact of both fuel and currency”, he added.
“Wave season, our peak booking period, was strong leaving us well positioned with bookings at considerably higher prices and with less inventory remaining for sale in 2017 compared to the prior year, resulting in increased earnings guidance.”
Guest experience innovations, creative marketing and public relations programs are boosting the bottom line, said Donald.
Carnival Corporation’s net income for the first quarter of 2017 was US$352 million, up from $142 million in Q1 2016. Revenue climbed from $3.7 billion at the start of 2016 to $3.8 billion in Q1 2017.
Net revenue yields increased 3.8% for Q1 2017. Net cruise costs increased 3.2%.
Highlights during the first quarter included the unveiling of Carnival Corp.’s Ocean Platform featuring Ocean Medallion. The Ocean Medallion wearable tech bracelets will debut on Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess in November 2017 followed by additional Princess ships in 2018.
Fleet enhancement milestones included the debut of Seabourn Cruises’ newest ship, Seabourn Encore, with its naming ceremony in Singapore. The company signed on with shipbuilder Fincantieri to build two new cruise ships: one for Holland America Line, to be delivered in 2021; and the other for Princess Cruises in 2022.
Also in Q1 Carnival Cruise Line received approval to begin operating cruises to Cuba. Carnival Paradise will be the largest cruise ship to sail to Cuba from the U.S. when it begins calling in Havana in June 2017.
The company expects full year 2017 net revenue yields to increase 3% over 2016.