The demand for core Caribbean sailings for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) three brands remain strong, according to Frank Del Rio, President and CEO, who spoke on the company’s recent Q3 earnings call.
He said NCLH has seen an acceleration in demand over the last four to six weeks, which has resulted in higher forward occupancy and pricing compared to last year.
Del Rio separated the Bahamas cruises from the Caribbean, explaining that when the Cuba ban was introduced, these ships moved in the Bahamas market, which subsequently was further impacted by Hurricane Dorian.
For 2020, he said that some of the ships now sailing to the Bahamas will be repositioned to more premium destinations, thus reducing capacity from this historically low-yielding destination.
Del Rio went on to say that the Caribbean will always be a critical region in NCLH’s deployment strategy.
To be introduced in the Caribbean later this year, he said that the Norwegian brand’s newest ship, the Encore, is the best booked and highest priced ship in the brand’s history.
For 2019, according to a company presentation, the three cruise brands, Norwegian, Oceania and Regent, have 36 percent of their guest capacity in the Caribbean