Alaska’s Getting Crowded, But Norwegian Is Still Bullish
During a recent earnings call, NCLH CEO Frank Del Rio said his company added 15% capacity to the Alaska market this year, and were still able to grow pricing by 25%. "So I think Alaska is a market that is undersupplied," Del Rio said.
That contention will soon be put to the test. For 2019, Norwegian is growing its Alaskan capacity by a further 30%, as Norwegian Joy moves over from China. "I think the industry at large is growing in the mid-teens," reported Del Rio. "So it's going to be interesting."
Based on current booking trends he remains bullish: "We think there's opportunities for us to deploy additional tonnage to Alaska in the years to come.
"Recall that Joy is the ship being transferred from the China market to Alaska. Del Rio said the booking window for Joy is approximately nine months or 50% shorter than usual due to the timing of her deployment announcement from China to Alaska.
NCLH is spending $50 million on Norwegian Joy when she goes into drydock next year. "She is going to be out of service for approximately 47 days next year of which roughly 21 are drydocks," reported Exec VP/CFO Mark Kempa.
Del Rio chimed in: "Certainly we're eager to reposition Joy into western itineraries, especially Alaska...Bliss did a tremendous job in opening up that market for Joy."