Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings ltd   (NCLH)
Other Ticker:  
    Sector  Services    Industry Cruise and Vacation
   Industry Cruise and Vacation
   Sector  Services

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings ltd

Business Description

NCLH is a diversified cruise operator of leading global cruise lines spanning market segments from contemporary to luxury under the Norwegian, Oceania and Regent brands. These brands operate 21 ships with approximately 40,000 Berths visiting approximately 420 worldwide destinations. The Company’s brands will introduce six additional ships through 2019 increasing the total Berths to approximately 58,000. Norwegian is the innovator in cruise travel with a history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising, most notably with the introduction of “Freestyle Cruising,” which revolutionized the industry by giving guests more freedom and flexibility on the most contemporary ships at sea. Oceania is the market leader in the upper-premium cruise segment featuring the finest cuisine at sea, elegant accommodations, impeccable service and destination-driven itineraries. Regent is the market leader in the luxury cruise segment with all-suite accommodations, highly personalized service and the industry’s most inclusive luxury experience featuring round-trip air, fine wines and spirits and unlimited shore excursions among its numerous included amenities.

Norwegian offers a wide variety of cruises ranging in length from one day to three weeks. Each of Norwegian’s 13 modern ships has been purpose-built to consistently deliver the “Freestyle Cruising” product offering, which we believe provides Norwegian with a competitive advantage by differentiating it from other cruise line offerings. By focusing on “Freestyle Cruising,” Norwegian has been able to achieve higher onboard spend levels, greater guest loyalty and the ability to attract a more diverse clientele. “Freestyle Cruising” offers flexibility and choice to our guests who prefer to dine when they want, with whomever they want and without having to dress formally.

Norwegian’s ships docked at 126 ports worldwide, with itineraries originating from 19 ports of which 13 are in North America. In line with Norwegian’s strategy of innovation, many of these North American ports are part of the “Homeland Cruising” program in which it has homeports that are close to major population centers, such as New York, Boston and Miami. This reduces the need for vacationers to fly to distant ports to embark on a cruise and helps reduce Norwegian guests’ overall vacation cost. Norwegian offers a wide selection of exotic itineraries outside of the traditional cruising markets of the Caribbean and Mexico, including cruises in Europe (the Mediterranean and the Baltic), Bermuda, Alaska, and the industry’s only entirely inter-island itinerary in Hawaii with Norwegian’s U.S.-flagged ship, Pride of America. Norwegian’s Hawaii itinerary is unparalleled in the cruise industry, as all other ships from competing cruise lines are registered outside the U.S. and are required to dock at a distant foreign port when providing their guests with a Hawaii-based cruise itinerary.

We seek to attract vacationers with our products and services and by creating differentiated itineraries in new markets through additional and existing modern and classic ships with the aim of delivering a better, value-added vacation experience to our guests relative to other vacation alternatives. Our business strategies include the following:

Enhance Product Offerings and Guest Experience

Norwegian’s ships offer up to 28 dining options, a diverse range of accommodations and what we believe is the widest array of entertainment at sea. Norwegian has completed more than $33 million of renovations to our private island, Great Stirrup Cay, which includes a new marina, dining and bar facility, as well as private cabanas and new activities. Norwegian is also enhancing the guest experience with our Norwegian NEXT program which includes new enhancements and transformations to our product offering.

Norwegian and Prestige use a strategy called base-loading to fill their capacity by booking guests as early before sailing as possible by utilizing certain sales and marketing tactics to generate business with longer booking windows to maximize passenger ticket revenue. Base-loading allows us to fill ships earlier and avoid discounting close to sailing dates in order to achieve targeted Occupancy Percentages.

Prestige’s differentiated price enhancing revenue management strategy encourages customers to book early to obtain the most attractive value offering. When new itineraries are launched, Prestige clearly articulates to potential customers and travel agents that prices are subject to increase as the cruise date approaches, as well as the specific dates on which those price increases may occur. Prestige uses a three-prong marketing strategy to maximize revenue from each customer by (i) keeping travel agents engaged and informed, (ii) using inbound and out-bound sales call programs to target high-potential customers and (iii) executing targeted and high-frequency marketing campaigns to communicate a message with Prestige’s cruise offerings.

Norwegian focuses on growing revenue through various initiatives aimed at increasing ticket prices and Occupancy Percentages as well as onboard spending to drive higher overall Net Yields. Norwegian’s specific base-loading initiatives include:

Casino Player Strategy. As part of this strategy, Norwegian has non-exclusive arrangements with over 100 casino partners worldwide including Caesars Entertainment, whereby loyal gaming guests are offered cruise reward certificates redeemable for cruises on Norwegian ships. Through property sponsored events and joint marketing programs, Norwegian has the opportunity to market cruises to Caesars Entertainment’s guests. These arrangements with casino partners have the dual benefit of filling open inventory and reaching guests that we expect to generate above average onboard revenue through the casino and other onboard spending.

Strategic Relationships. Norwegian has developed strategic relationships with travel agencies and international tour operators who commit to purchasing a certain level of inventory with long lead times.

Meetings, Incentives and Charters. Norwegian increased the focus on the meetings, incentives and charters channel, which typically books very far in advance and can represent a significant portion of the ship, or even an entire sailing, in one transaction.


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