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Norwegian Cruise Line Eyeing New Markets, Alaska, Europe with Growing Fleet

With what he called a relatively small sized fleet of 29 ships, Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, explained he was confident the company can absorb its incoming capacity growth.

That includes five more Prima class ships for Norwegian Cruise Line, one newbuild for Regent Seven Seas Cruises and two new vessels for Oceania Cruises.

“Not only do we have many unserved and underserved markets around the world, but we also continue to believe that the cruise industry at large is vastly underpenetrated, especially when measured against other land-based vacation alternatives,” Del Rio said, speaking on the company’s third quarter earnings call.

“Just in the U.S., there are cities in the U.S. that are historically very strong source markets that we don’t have a vessel, either seasonally or year-round. And we think that with new vessels coming online, we’ll be able to do that,” he explained, noting itineraries were the number one driver of yields.

“Alaska, where we’ve made huge investments in land-based infrastructures and ports, is still underpenetrated. The Norwegian brand, for example, only has four vessels there. Oceania and Regent only have one each. Our competitors have multiples of that. And the reason for that is, is that we need to be in other places.

“So we see Alaska and we see Europe as growth markets. We believe South America is becoming very, very interesting, as there is greater demand for South American ports,” he continued. “Asia has taken a backseat over the last couple of years because of the COVID situation there. But I got to tell you, Japan is red hot for us. Australia is red hot. And so I’m excited about the possibility of going to new places with new ships and continuing to just feed the beast of high-yielding itineraries.”

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