Cruise Advertised Pricing Growth Is Best In Years

Cruise Week

There continues to be validation for agents’ reports that Wave Season is turning out fine despite geopolitical and market challenges.

The latest is from SunTrust. Analyst C. Patrick Scholes uses unusually rosy terms when reporting on December pricing: “Best advertised pricing growth in years.”
Scholes notes that industrywide advertised pricing for all future sailings accelerated to +6.9% in December, up from an already positive +3.4% in November year over year.
“This is the strongest rate of advertised pricing growth we have observed in at least 4 years,” Scholes says.

The strongest regions for advertised pricing growth continue to be the Caribbean and Alaska. “We see ongoing weakness in dollar advertised pricing in Europe, Asia, and Australia/NZ, though pricing declines were ‘less bad’ than previous checks,” says Scholes.   
Given this week’s suicide bombing in the tourist centre of Istanbul, pricing for Med cruises may be under more pressure in the weeks to come.
SunTrust says Carnival Cruise Lines is the biggest gainer in recent months. CCL’s advertised pricing for all future sailings was a healthy +6.2% y/y in December.
It probably doesn’t hurt that CCL has huge Caribbean capacity and little exposure in Europe, but Scholes gives kudos to CCL’s yield management, citing the root of CCL’s strong pricing as a lengthening booking curve allowing the cruise giant to take fewer discounted close-in bookings.

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