Thursday, February 25, 2016

Going to China

Last week we noted that when Houston’s current two tenants at its Bayport Cruise Terminal leave in the spring, the port has decided not to continue trying to market the facility and is apparently giving up on their long-running efforts to find cruise ships to sail from the facility. In coming to that decision, we said one factor could well have been the realization that there is a shortage of ships in North America caused by lines sending ship after ship to Australia and China where yields are much higher.

That shortage is probably going to continue for some time to come, because the Chinese market is so vast, and cruise lines have such a tiny penetration of the Chinese vacation market. In this week’s call to discuss NCLH’s earnings, Frank Del Rio, the company’s President and CEO said, “The more we learn about the competitive landscape [in China], the more we continue to be certain that the emerging, evolving and growing Chinese market presents the best opportunity for maximizing fleet-wide profitability and is the best deployment option for new vessels to generate upsized incremental earnings.”

Details appeared in the February 24 edition of Cruise News Daily.