Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) has blamed the Cuba cruise ban and a technical issue on Norwegian Pearl for adjusting its earnings per share forecast.
The company, which operates three cruise lines, earned $240.2 million in the quarter which ended June 30 – compared to $226.7 million during the same period last year.
All three NCLH brands – Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises – were affected by the Cuba restrictions imposed by the Trump administration.
Around 25% of the cancelled Cuba calls were included in Oceania and Regent Seven Seas’ sailings.
The 2,394-passenger Norwegian Pearl suffered a technical issue in July which forced Norwegian Cruise Line to amend one sailing and cancel another.
NCLH chief financial officer Mark Kempa said: “If Cuba and the Pearl, which is a combined impacts of $0.52, have not happened, we would have guided in the zone of $5.52 to $5.62. That would have been around a 13% year-over-year growth.”
The full year adjusted earnings per share is now expected to be in the range of $5.00 to $5.10.
Referring to Cuba, president and CEO Frank Del Rio said: “While we were ready for a cruise ban, we were not ready for a ban to take effect with only 12 hours’ notice.”
Del Rio also added European sourcing revenue for NCL had gone up 50% year-on-year following the switch from ‘Premium All-Inclusive’ pricing concept to its ‘Free at Sea’ option in March.
The ‘Free at Sea’ programme requires passengers to pay £99 to access two benefits from a list of five. The benefits include a premium drinks package or free WiFi.
New build Norwegian Encore, which enters service in November, was described as the best performing Caribbean-launched ship in the company’s history.
The 750-passenger Seven Seas Splendor is due to be delivered to sister line Regent Seven Seas Cruises in the first quarter of next year.
“Encore’s debut, along with that of Seven Seas Splendor in February of 2020, the record booked positions at higher prices in all three of our brands, and Norwegian Joy’s sailing itineraries in the West, lay the foundation for 2020 to be more than just another milestone year,” Del Rio added.
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