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Carnival Unveils 2018 Europe Program for Princess Cruises

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Carnival Corporation's (CCL - Free Report) Princess Cruises recently announced its Europe itinerary for 2018. The cruise brand will deploy a number of ships from ports including Barcelona, Rome, Paris and London next year that will take a voyage around Europe, stopping at important cultural ports, also providing over-night stays at many of these places.

These itineraries, slated to open for sale on Dec 1, will also include the cruise line’s new “Local Connections” program. This program will be featuring enriching vacation experiences ashore and onboard, and is an initiative to connect guests with authentic resident experts.

The 2018 cruise vacations to Europe include the maiden sailing of the line’s Sapphire Princess. Five ships would travel to 115 destinations from Mediterranean ports to the northern parts of Europe. Customers have the option to select from as many as 57 exclusive schedules on offer on 168 cruises, across 35 countries.

The Royal Princess ship will set sail on a 12-day British Isles round-trip cruise from Paris, in addition to roundtrip cruises from London.

Crown Princess will depart from the shores of Rome and Barcelona on 55 cruises, featuring 13 unique itineraries, including 27 destinations in the Mediterranean and Aegean.

Additionally, guests will visit a variety of destinations like Croatia, Greece, Malta and Monte Carlo throughout the Mediterranean on 12 to 28 day voyages on Pacific Princess.

Furthermore, guests can enrich their European travel with four unique Land & Sea Vacation options, which combine certain sailings with a fully-escorted land tour. Choices include Paris and the French Countryside; Ireland's Ring of Kerry; Classic Italy, popular sites in Venice, Florence and Rome; and Imperial Treasures of Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin.



Carnival believes that it is well positioned for continued earnings growth in Europe, given the current strength in its bookings and pricing trends for next year.

Further, the company stands to gain from its strategy of growing beyond familiar itineraries and capitalize on fast growing markets like Asia and Cuba. Additionally, improved consumer spending power, new onboard product offerings along with various strategic initiatives are expected to drive onboard yield gains.

However, negative currency translation and macroeconomic issues in key operating regions remain potent headwinds as they continue to impact operations of other cruise operators like Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL - Free Report) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH - Free Report) .

Carnival currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the leisure and recreational services industry is Vail Resorts Inc. (MTN - Free Report) . The company has a current year growth estimate pegged at 30.7% compared with the industry average 10.1%. It sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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