Cruises News: Norwegian, Holland America, Princess, Marella Take Steps
Cruise lines are continuing to take steps to address the ongoing public health emergency resulting from the coronavirus.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, successfully completed its efforts to enhance its liquidity in response to the current public health crisis. A day after updating on its financial position, it completed oversubscribed offerings of debt and stock with gross proceeds of as much as $2.4 billion.
Norwegian now expects, contingent on completion of the transactions, to have approximately $3.5 billion of liquidity. The proceeds from the offerings combine with previous efforts the company had taken to lower its operating expenses, including transitioning its ships into cold layup. While Norwegian the is currently targeting a July 1, 2020 return to cruising, it noted that its strengthened financial position would provide it the ability to withstand a suspension lasting over 12 months.
Holland America Line and Princess Cruises
At the same time, both Holland America Line and Princess Cruises announced that they were extending their cruise cancellations through the summer of 2020.
Holland America Line has decided to extend its pause of global cruise operations and cancel all Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England cruises in 2020. In addition, they announced that that the Amsterdam will not operate its 79-day Grand Africa voyage that would have departed on October 3, 2020.
In a statement, Princess Cruises said, "due to reduced air flight availability, the closure of cruise ports in regions around the world, and other factors impacting international travel" that it would be cancelling all of its sailings to Alaska, the Caribbean and Europe, as well as Australia and Canada & New England cruises scheduled for the summer of 2020. In addition, Princess also cancelled sailings into the fall of 2020 for voyages from Japan as well as sailings to Hawaii and French Polynesia. Princess had been among the first cruise lines to announce it was suspending operations in mid-March 2020 but had originally anticipated returning to service by June 2020.
The British cruise line Marella Cruises, part of the TUI Group, however, became the first of the European lines to announce a plan for a potential resumption of cruising.
In its statement, the line said it is continue to monitor the situation and is adjusting its plans accordingly. “Should it be safe to set sail, Marella Cruises will commence its summer 2020 programme in July 2020, with three of its five ships sailing.” Their ship the Marella Explorer will set sail from Corfu, the Marella Explorer 2 from the UK, and the Marella Discovery from Palma. Two additional ships, the Marella Dream and the Marella Discovery 2, will remain idle, scheduled to return to service in the winter of 2020 and the summer of 2021.
Marella has previously announced that its oldest cruise ship, the Marella Celebration built in 1984, had been retired due current public health crisis. Industry observers expect it may be the first of several older ships that will not return to service. Marella did not offer details on its plans for the ship but the speculation is that it will be sold for scrap following a sister ship that was scrapped at the end of 2018.