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UBS: Costa pricing dips, overall cruise pricing flat

Costa ticket prices dropped approximately 40 basis points while overall cruise pricing held flat sequentially for the second straight week, according to UBS Investment Research’s UBS Cruise Data Tracker, which charts more than 7,000 sailings. ‘We continue to see no significant sequential declines in average prices, with week-over-week ticket prices looking flat sequentially for the second straight week, and up approximately 1% since the start of the year,’ analyst Robin Farley said in a note.

Farley noted that price changes follow volume changes, adding that it is likely lines would not discount immediately after the Costa Concordia accident as the immediate drop in bookings would be expected to be temporary.

Also, lines may offer incentives such as on-board credit as an alternative to reducing ticket pricing.

UBS found Celebrity, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean showing pricing strength since the start of year. Costa ticket prices are down approximately 40 basis points sequentially, but are still flattish to slightly up since the start of the year.

Carnival Cruise Lines pricing recovered slightly sequentially this week, but pricing could still be down approximately 20 basis points since the beginning of the year, according to the brokerage.

UBS Cruise Data Tracker indicates pricing for Western Mediterranean and Eastern Mediterranean itineraries is down slightly sequentially this week, and down 90 basis points and 30 basis points, respectively, since the beginning of the year, while Caribbean and Alaska itineraries are holding strong.

Rates for sailings leaving in the first quarter are still up more than 3% since the start of the year, while pricing for 2012 remains up 1%-2%, UBS found.

The brokerage’s separate cruise pricing survey, which monitors various itineraries and brands for week-to-week sequential changes, found that Caribbean rates have been up moderately for the last two months. Alaska pricing had also been moderately up since the start of the year, but weekly pricing was down week-over-week, so Alaska is now flattish, UBS said.

Mediterranean pricing had been relatively flat since a downward pricing adjustment in early November, and UBS saw a sequential pricing decline last week after a slight pricing uptick in the previous week.

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