Wave of demand raises Hawaii cruise prices


POSTED: Friday, March 05, 2010

Hawaii's cruise market, which declined 18.9 percent last year, could become more buoyant thanks to increased demand, especially from its home-ported sector.

Norwegian Cruise Line, parent company of Hawaii-based NCL America, reported that fleetwide prices will increase up to 7 percent in April as a result of stronger booking demand during the January and February wave season.

“;Our first-quarter wave season promotion definitely persuaded consumers to book a Norwegian cruise vacation as we saw heavy call volumes translating to exceptional bookings,”; said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line chief executive officer.

“;As we move out of wave season, consumers and travel partners can expect to see our prices rise across the fleet, especially for our new, highly anticipated ship Norwegian Epic.”;

Cruisers have expressed strong interest in NCL's newest offering, the Norwegian Epic, which debuts in June as well as its Hawaii-based Pride of America, which operates seven-day interisland cruises from Honolulu, said AnneMarie Matthews, NCL's director of public relations.

“;We've seen strong bookings for Pride of America and have already seen significant price increases,”; Matthews said. “;The ship is largely sold out for the next eight weeks, and the lead-in rate for summer cruises is up substantially.”;

For example, prices for an inside stateroom on a summer cruise in Hawaii have risen to as high as $1,489 per person, she said.