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Norwegian Cruise (NCLH) Plans to Resume Full Operations by April

Norwegian Cruise's (NCLH) full fleet of 28 ships will resume operations by Apr 1.

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. NCLH recently announced that its full fleet will resume operations by April. It is worth mentioning that the company has not operated at full capacity since the pandemic began. At present, eight ships are in operation.



CEO Frank Del Rio told CNBC that the company’s full fleet of 28 ships will resume operations by Apr 1. The company anticipates operating with 75% of its vessels by the end of this year.



Del Rio said to CNBC, “Pent-up demand continues to be very, very strong for the sailings we’ve operated thus far.” Notably, before boarding all guests and crew need to be vaccinated.



Separately, the company announced that its Oceania Cruises has opened its recently unveiled 2023 Europe and North America Collection of voyages for sale to the general public. It will have seven ships sailing 179 itineraries. Voyages will range in length from seven to 56 days.



The coronavirus pandemic has severely affected the company’s booking. While overall booking volumes remain below historical levels, it has been registering solid demand for future cruise vacations. Despite lower sales and marketing investments, the company is reporting solid bookings for future periods across all brands. It stated that overall cumulative bookings for full year 2022 are ahead of 2019 levels.



Shares of the company have gained 51.6% in the past year, compared with the industry’s rally of 40%.

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Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research

Fleet Size Expansion Bodes Well

Norwegian Cruise is constantly looking to expand fleet size, which is currently at 28. It has plans to introduce nine more ships through 2027. Most of them are on order for Norwegian Cruise Line, while the rest are for Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. For the Regent brand, it has one Explorer Class Ship, which is to be delivered in 2023. For the Oceania Cruises brand, the company has two Allura Class Ships, which are to be delivered in 2023 and 2025. With Project Leonardo, Norwegian Cruise will have an additional six ships with expected delivery dates from 2022 through 2027.



Norwegian Cruise currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks worth considering in the same space include Allied Esports Entertainment Inc. AESE, Cedar Fair, L.P. FUN and Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. MSGE. All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).



Shares of Allied Esports Entertainment have gained 41.6% in the past year.



Cedar Fair anticipates 2021 earnings to witness growth of 85.2%.



Madison Square Garden Entertainment expects fiscal 2022 earnings to witness growth of 107.4%.



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