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Eastern Med/Black Sea could be sparking slight discounting: UBS

Eastern Med/Black Sea could be sparking slight discounting: UBS
Cruise pricing checks show a slight sequential softness over the past four to five weeks but close-in sailings look strong, according to a UBS Investment Research note.

Fourth quarter pricing is 'holding up,' while there is slight third quarter discounting which the brokerage said could be due to close-in discounting of Eastern Mediterranean cruises, including Black Sea ports and Ukraine, along with continued discounting in the Caribbean.

With second and fourth quarter pricing up sequentially, it seems there may be some early discounting to build a base of business for next year, UBS analyst Robin Farley said.

The brokerage found sequential four-week pricing for brands like Carnival and Royal Caribbean down, while Norwegian Cruise Line pricing is flattish or up, and pricing for premium brands like Celebrity, Holland America and Cunard is up sequentially.

UBS said Western Mediterranean pricing is up 20 basis points over the past month, while Eastern Mediterranean cruises are down 90 basis points.

Alaska pricing has been strong, while Caribbean pricing remains soft.