As part of its fleet enhancement strategy, Carnival Corporation’s (CCL - Free Report) brand Princess Cruises recently announced the addition of Pacific Princess to its Europe 2021 season. With a capacity of 670 guests, the new ship will sail from Tokyo to Rome during May 2021. Pacific Princess will also be sailing between Venice and Rome, which will be the brand’s new 12-day Mediterranean voyage.
This cruise operator Pacific Princess will mark the brand’s sixth ship for the Europe 2021 season that will join the cruise line's two newest ships namely Enchanted Princess and Sky Princess, with voyages to the Mediterranean, British Isles and Scandinavia & Russia.
Carnival’s Strategic Initiatives Bode Well
With the launch of new ships, Carnival aims to formulate measured capacity growth over time that allows its global fleet to meet escalating demand for cruise vacations. Also, it aspires to offer guests a remarkable vacation experience at an exceptional value.
Carnival has adopted a strategy to grow beyond its familiar itineraries and capitalize on new markets. The Asian source market for cruises is expected to grow significantly on the back of higher consumer demand. The company is especially optimistic about the growth prospects of the Japanese and Australian markets. By 2020, China’s cruise market is projected to grow to 4.5 million passengers, up from 1 million in 2015, as per data from the Chinese Ministry of Transport. By 2030, China is expected to become the world's second-largest cruise market after the United States.
Additionally, in June 2017, its Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand launched AIDAperla — one of the world's most environmentally friendly and technologically advanced ships. Carnival also launched Majestic Princess from Princess Cruises in March 2017, which is the world's first cruise ship built specifically for the Chinese market.
During third-quarter fiscal 2018, the company finalized contracts for two more next-generation ships powered by LNG to be delivered in 2023 and 2025.
However, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company faces stiff competition from other cruise operators such as Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (CNK - Free Report) and Cedar Fair, L.P. (FUN - Free Report) . Shares of the company have declined 4.3% so far this year against the industry’s 8.9% growth.
A Key Pick
A better-ranked stock from the same space is Studio City International Holdings Limited (MSC - Free Report) that carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Studio City reported better-than-expected earnings in three of the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 90%.
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