With uncertainties still surrounding operating cruises in parts of Asia, Norwegian Cruise Line could be poised to redeploy ships in the near future, according to NCLH President and CEO Frank Del Rio, speaking on the company’s first quarter earnings call.
Despite what Del Rio said were cruises selling at very high prices, there is still risk.
“And so we will likely take some chips off the board in the coming weeks to balance that risk reward, likely at the Norwegian brand, which has more flexibility in where it can achieve good pricing and accelerate the bookings, much faster than Oceania and Regent can, because of the longer booking curve there,” Del Rio said.
The Norwegian Sun has a scheduled Asia program for the 2022-2023 season, while the newly-refurbished Norwegian Spirit is scheduled to sail in Australia and New Zealand.
“The good news is that we heard from the Minister of Tourism in New Zealand that they expect New Zealand to open up no later than October to cruising. That opens up that whole Australasia area for us (including) Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti. And we hear good commentary coming out of some Asian countries, some Asian ports, (but) not China. And we’re not very big in China as you know,” he continued.
Del Rio said he was hopeful for Asia and also South America, where Argentina, Uruguay and Chile will be open to ships.
“The world is reopening perhaps at different paces. But it is reopening. And that’s good news for us.”