Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings plans to do something this year that it has not done since the pandemic shut down the entire industry for two years: completely fill its ships with passengers.
The New York-listed cruise ship owner gave this prediction on Tuesday in its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings report as it expects to take delivery of three newbuildings this year from Fincantieri.
Frank Del Rio-led Norwegian is scheduled to start offering itineraries on Oceania Cruises’ 1,200-berth Vista and Norwegian Cruise Line’s 3,215-berth Viva in May and Seven Seas’ 829-berth Seven Seas Grandeur in November.
“Occupancy is expected to average approximately 100% for the first quarter and is on track to reach historical levels for the second quarter,” the Miami-based cruise major said in the report.
The three vessels are expected to boost Norwegian’s overall passenger capacity by about 19% compared to 2019 capacity, the owner said. Fourth-quarter capacity for 2022 reached 87%.
“We are now squarely focused on the future and are taking deliberate and strategic actions to best position the company for its next chapter, which includes an industry-leading growth profile representing approximately 50% capacity growth over 2019,” chief executive Frank Del Rio said in a statement.
The owner is planning on full capacity this year, however, while still recording quarterly losses as a result of the pandemic.
Norwegian reported $483m in net loss for the fourth quarter, smaller than the $1.57bn net loss during the last three months of 2021.
Adjusted net loss came in at $440m for the fourth quarter, compared to $765m in net loss for the same period in 2021.
The cruise ship owner recorded an adjusted loss per share of $1.04, missing analyst consensus of $0.85 loss per share but improving upon the year-ago loss per share of $1.95.
Fourth-quarter revenue more than tripled to $1.5bn, compared to $487m in revenue collected during the last quarter of 2021.
For all of 2022, Norwegian posted $2.3bn in net loss against $4.5bn in net loss for the prior year. Adjusted net loss for 2022 came in at $1.9bn versus $2.9bn for 2021.
Norwegian brought in $4.84bn in revenue for 2022, compared to $648m for the previous year.