Shares in Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings rallied 3.1% in New York yesterday after the company announced a three-year, $1 billion share repurchase plan.

Based on Tuesday’s stock closing price of $53.88, the scheme could buy back 18.6 million shares, or 8.3% of the shares outstanding.

President and chief executive, Frank Del Rio, said: “The $1 billion share repurchase program authorisation reflects our ongoing confidence in our financial strength and the long-term outlook of our business.

“Our strong and growing cash flow will allow us to deepen our commitment to provide returns to our shareholders, while continuing to invest in our product, innovation and growth.”

The news came as the group unveiled new ship Norwegian Bliss, which is due to arrive in Southampton from its German shipyard on Saturday.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands with a combined fleet of 25 ships.

The company plans to introduce seven additional ships by 2025, and has an option of two additional vessels for delivery in 2026 and 2027.