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Contemporary lines' pricing trends down, premium up, UBS finds

Contemporary lines' pricing trends down, premium up, UBS finds
UBS Investment Research found pricing for contemporary cruise brands like Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean ticked down last week, following a few stable weeks, while pricing for premium brands like Holland America, Princess and Cunard increased.

'We believe this divergence is mostly itinerary-driven, as Alaska, Eastern Med and "other Europe" also saw nice upticks in price this week, and those are itineraries with more focus from premium brands,' UBS analyst Robin Farley said in a note.

UBS found Caribbean pricing slightly down this week while there was an uptick in overall pricing, apparently driven by the premium brands rather than higher pricing across the board.

Among the destinations with pricing increases for the week of April 27 were Alaska (4.6%), Canada/New England (7.9%), Eastern Mediterranean (4.4%), Northern Europe (3.5%), 'other Europe' (6.2%), Middle East (5.4%) and Mexico/Central America (1.6%).

The brokerage found a stronger uptick for cruises during the second quarter than those in Q3 and Q4, which UBS attributed to higher prices for the remaining close-in departures for Europe and Alaska itineraries.

The brokerage's pricing checks are based on the average price for more than 8,000 sailings for the six largest North American brands and two of the largest European lines.