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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 19, 2006

Cruise line company blames costs

Advertiser Staff

NCL's cruise fleet in Hawai'i includes the Pride of America and will expand to three ships with the arrival of a third liner this month. The company said higher wages and fuel costs more than ate up a 21 percent increase in revenue from Hawai'i interisland operations.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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NCL Corp. Ltd. lost $28.1 million in the first quarter as rising payroll costs from its Hawai'i cruise operations and higher fuel costs more than offset an increase in revenue.

NCL's first-quarter loss compared to earnings of $6 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue in the first quarter rose to $422.5 million, up 21.1 percent from the same period in 2005.

NCL said net cruise costs per capacity day increased 6.4 percent, largely because of higher fuel costs as well as payroll growth associated with U.S. crew for NCL America's Hawai'i interisland cruises. The Hawai'i cruise operations began with one ship in June 2004 and will grow to three ships when the Pride of Hawai'i arrives in the Islands this month.

"Consistent with our expectations, the first quarter continued to feel the effects of higher fuel costs and the impact of significant startup costs associated with our NCL America operations," said Colin Veitch, president and chief executive officer of NCL Corp.

"While the NCL America startup costs continue to be challenging, we expect to see some stabilization of these costs after Pride of Hawai'i begins revenue service and our three-ship deployment is complete."

Miami-based NCL Corp. oversees the operations of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America and Orient Lines.