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Articles from 2002 In March


UBS Warburg previews Q1

UBS Warburg previews Q1

UBS Warburg's Cruise Pricing Survey saw strong results in mid-late March, with year-over-year Caribbean prices reflecting lower declines each week for the last three weeks in the month, according to analyst Robin Farley. She also notes that strong cost reduction has provided upside to CCL and RCL in Q1, suggesting there could be upside in POC's quarter as well.

Royal Caribbean preannounced its Q1'02 EPS of $0.25-$0.30 with expense reduction kicking in and net yields to be down 7-8%, instead of previous guidance of down 10%. Two unscheduled drydocks will have a $0.02-$0.03 per share impact on the quarter.

UBS Warburg's Q1 EPS estimate for P&O Princess is $0.03 versus the consensus of $0.01, based on management's conservative 8% yield decline guidance (11% for the Princess brand) and 6.6% decline in controllable costs per passenger cruise day. 'P&O Princess' booking curve is longer than CCL's and RCL's due to its focus on the premium market, so we don't expect as strong a Q1 yield recovery in its North American brand,' Farley writes. But, again, cost reduction may benefit POC. Based on the strong recent guidance from Carnival and Royal, Farley would not be surprised to see Princess management give Q2 and Q3 yield guidance better than Q1 levels.

UBS Warburg's net yield assumption for the year is for a 6.6% decline, reflecting Q2 and Q3 yields down 8% and 9%, respectively. 'If we were to reduce the yield decline for POC to roughly 5% for the year, which would be close to 7% for its North American capacity, that could add $0.19 to '02 EPS bringing estimates to $1.66, and $0.23 to our '03 estimate bringing it to $2.28. However, we note that POC redeployed roughly 12% of its '02 capacity, significantly more than RCL and CCL, so that will put additional pressure on POC yields,' Farley observes.

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Busy times for ICCL in security-heavy era

Busy times for ICCL in security-heavy era

We are working with the Coast Guard to update security requirements for passenger vessels calling at US ports. We are also on an INS task force that is making recommendations regarding what the future of the INS entry/exit programme will look like.'

The INS (US Immigration and Naturalisation Service) recently issued a dictate that further tightens inspections on ships calling at US ports. This also affects cruise vessels. In many cases, passengers of all nationalities (even those holding US passports) are now required to report in person for inspection before their ship is cleared for disembarkation. Crye hopes to see INS guidance out shortly for the cruise fleet which, he points out, brings back the same number of people who left the country legitimately. Cruise vessels are providing the INS with electronic manifests on departure as well as return.

In other news, ICCL officials recently attended a two-day meeting with the US Office of Homeland Security, identifying the priorities of that office going forward. 'We are working to educate new Transportation security administration officials on what we have in place in the cruise industry,' Crye adds. 'And of course every committee of the IMO is busily reviewing every IMO protocol for security updates.' The IMO's Marine Safety Committee has sent a number of issues to the subcommittees and drafting groups with the goal of having a comprehensive security document prepared for conference in November. Crye says ICCL is participating in all the IMO meetings/correspondence groups addressing these issues.

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Crystal opens the curtain on repertory at sea

Crystal opens the curtain on repertory at sea

Among the shows scheduled this year are readings from the book 'Love Letters' by A. R. Gurney; 'Simply Simon,' showcasing some of playwright Neil Simon's best scenes; and 'Never Doubt I Love,' featuring Shakespeare's poetry and prose. Many Crystal guests are theatre aficionados and the Repertory Theatre at Sea format gives the flexibility to regularly present new material, which is appreciated by the line's large number of repeat cruisers, says Bret Bullock, Crystal's vp of entertainment.

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Carnival Spirit adds fresh Alaska foods

Carnival Spirit adds fresh Alaska foods

Fresh-caught salmon, halibut, cod, Alaskan king crab, wild mushrooms, herbs, berries and venison will be available in the ship's main restaurant and the reservations-only Nouveau Supper Club. Carnival says it will provision during weekly port calls throughout its May to September season, allowing the freshest possible items and providing chefs the freedom to vary menus from voyage to voyage. Carnival Spirit's 'only in Alaska' dishes include Sushi and Sashimi Platter with Thinly Sliced Alaskan Salmon and Tuna, with Pickled Daikon, Wasabi and Soy Dip; Fettuccine with Sautéed Shrimp, Salmon and Halibut Tossed in Mascarpone and Tomato Cream; Braised Leg of Farm Raised Venison Served with a Juniper and Blueberry Sauce; and Chestnut Veloute (Light Truffle Chestnut Soup).

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HAL expands spa, fitness programmes

HAL expands spa, fitness programmes

HAL is adding four new new spa treatments and eight new fitness programmes in the Steiner-operated spas fleetwide. Created by Elemis skincare products and spa therapies, the treatments include aroma stone therapy using hot oils, aromatherapy foot and hand treatments and scalp massage using Tahitian monoi oil. Fitness classes now include offerings like Ki-bo, Pilates and yoga toning.

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Radisson discounts Circle Pacific cruise

Radisson discounts Circle Pacific cruise

The 490-passenger, all-suite ship leaves San Francisco on September 15 and will visit 32 ports in 17 countries before arriving at Fort Lauderdale on November 23. The voyage is also being sold in four 12- to 23-night segments.

Customers who deposit by credit card on the same day they book can receive a shipboard credit of up to $500 per person. Complimentary shoreside events offered to all passengers include a 'Great Aussie Outback Experience at the Woolshed outside Brisbane' 'A Polynesian Beach Barbeque on Easter Island' and 'Maori Entertainment and New Zealand Cuisine Sampler at Wellington Botanical Gardens.' Prices for the full 68-night voyage start at $17,921 per person including up to 50% savings on the second-guest fare.

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ABX Logistics offers solutions to cash flow crunch

ABX Logistics offers solutions to cash flow crunch

At the same time, suppliers are shortening payment periods or demanding payment on receipt. Helping both cruise lines and suppliers overcome the cash crunch while streamlining operations and cutting associated administrative costs are the goals of ABX's new Global Commerce Solutions.

Services include design and administration of a logistics operation procedure, providing operating and cash cycle financing and simplifying billing by listing product and shipping together on a single invoice. ABX pays its clients' suppliers on delivery and extends credit to qualified clients. The company also insures clients' receivables and/or the client could receive up to 85% of the invoice value as a cash advance a few days after goods are shipped to their destination. 'These are processes to improve the cash cycle for companies, which is especially important now,' Brigneti says. The programmes are funded at ABX commercial interest rates. Rated AA+ by S&P and Moody's, ABX can obtain cash at more favourable rates than many companies, according to Brigneti.

In the few months that ABX Miami has offered Global Commerce Solutions, two local companies have signed on and discussions with two European firms were held during the Seatrade Convention. Brigneti tells Seatrade Insider he understands cruise line and supplier needs, having formerly worked as director of purchasing for Renaissance Cruises. ABX operates 500 offices in 36 countries. The Miami office with a new additional cruise-dedicated warehouse near Port Everglades is led by district manager Spencer Strader and of 35 employees, half are dedicated to the cruise business for import/export and warehouse inventory management.

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Princess will send 2 Grands to the Med in apos;03

Princess will send 2 Grands to the Med in apos;03

Grand pioneered the itineraries on her launch in 1998 then moved to year-round Caribbean service after Golden's launch.

On 12-day routes, both 2,600-passenger Grand class ships will visit Monte Carlo, Livorno (for Florence and Pisa), Naples, Athens, Kusadasi and Istanbul. The two 109,000-gt vessels will each offer 10 departures, with Golden sailing from May 5 through August 21, and Grand sailing between May 14 and August 30.

'There's never been two ships of this size and quality in the Mediterranean,' said Dean Brown, Princess' evp of customer service and sales. Brown called the route 'the best itinerary in the region' and said 'passengers have raved about it. We've committed to doubling departures based on this popularity.'

In addition to their Grand Mediterranean voyages, each ship will also offer a Mediterranean/Atlantic and two transatlantic sailings that will take them to several new ports. Grand's Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona crossing on May 4 includes two first-time calls for the ship at Gibraltar and Alicante. The Med/Atlantic cruises (September 2 on Golden and September 11 on Grand) travel between Barcelona and Southampton, stopping at Marseille, Livorno, Cannes, Gibraltar, Casablanca, Cadiz (maiden calls for both ships), Lisbon, Vigo and Le Havre.

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Star resumes Taiwan-Japan cruises

Star resumes Taiwan-Japan cruises

SuperStar Aries, which has been operating from Singapore since her redeployment from Bangkok, arrives at Keelung today and will be showcased to consumers, media and the trade. On Sunday, the 700-passenger ship commences two- and three-night cruises to Naha and Ishigaki with departures until September 27.

The company said the move reflects the cruise industry's post-September 11 recovery and an improving global economy following the downturn which affected Star operations in Taiwan, leading to the withdrawal of SuperStar Taurus late last year. 'Travel indicators point to an earlier than expected recovery of the cruise industry in the second half of the year, and Star Cruises is obviously keen to return to an important and familiar market that we have been developing,' said Star coo Chong Chee Tut.

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Van Deursen retires from HAL after 45 years

Van Deursen retires from HAL after 45 years

Van Deursen has built a reputation for sending HAL ships to such exotic climes as San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua), Launceston (Tasmania), Praslin and La Digue (Seychelles), Sami and Loutraki (Greece), Trujillo (Peru) and Thilawa (Myanmar) - to name just a handful.

'There are few, if any, people in the cruise industry worldwide that have a better knowledge and viability judgment than this "Eminence Grise" of cruise destination development,' says fellow itinerary expert Peter Cox of Cunard Line Ltd.

'His departure from our work-a-day world will create a void,' adds destination development consultant Rick Strunck. 'There isn't a cruise line in operation today that hasn't copied an itinerary he developed or added a new port after seeing it in a HAL brochure.'

Dutch-born van Deursen joined HAL in 1956 as a shipboard purser before moving shoreside to hold sales and marketing positions in New York, Singapore, Sydney and Seattle. As director of cruise development, he strived to spice up itineraries with new destinations to keep HAL's repeat clients interested. 'You have to have collectors' ports in addition to marquee ports,' he says.

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