P&O Princess Cruises announces the launch of Ocean Village, a new contemporary brand for the UK, and revised ship deployments
- Ocean Village, a new contemporary UK brand to be launched in May 2003
- Transfer of Sea Princess to the UK fleet from the North American fleet in Spring 2003
- Fourth Grand class vessel, currently under construction, to be introduced to North American fleet in Spring 2004
P&O Princess Cruises today announced the launch of a new brand in the UK cruising industry and revised ship deployments which will accelerate the Group's development in the fast growing cruise segment of the UK holiday market, offer more choice to customers and enhance the position of its Princess Cruises fleet in North America.
The number of cruise passengers from the UK has more than doubled since 1995, but cruises still represent a small proportion of all UK holidays. Recognising the great potential for growth in cruising within the UK, P&O Princess is creating a new brand, Ocean Village, which will target a young and active customer base, further expanding the appeal of cruising within the UK.
Initially, Ocean Village will have one ship, providing a dedicated fly-cruise product for the UK from May 2003. The ship, currently called Arcadia and part of the P&O Cruises UK fleet, will have 1,620 lower berths, eight bars, an internet cafe and a bistro endorsed by the TV chef, James Martin. She will provide a cruise experience designed for British passengers, with a relaxed contemporary atmosphere and an emphasis on informality, health and well-being. The initial summer season itineraries will offer one and two-week Mediterranean cruises, together with cruise and stay holidays, based on two alternating seven night itineraries out of Palma, Majorca.
The 2,010 lower berth Sea Princess will be transferred to the P&O Cruises brand in the UK from Spring 2003. Currently part of the Princess fleet in North America, Sea Princess will be refitted to cater to British tastes and renamed Adonia. Her first season will be providing European cruises from Southampton. Together with the introduction of Oceana (currently Ocean Princess) and the withdrawal of Victoria in November 2002, these changes will give the P&O Cruises brand a fleet of four modern ships. By mid 2003, the P&O Cruises fleet will have a weighted average age of under five years and will have an average ship size of over 1,900 berths. Approximately 35% of the cabins in the fleet will have balconies.
P&O Princess also announced that the 3,100 lower berth ship currently under construction in Fincantieri and scheduled for delivery in Spring 2004, will now be delivered to the Princess fleet in North America rather than the P&O Cruises UK fleet. This ship, to be named Crown Princess, has the same basic design as the highly successful Grand Princess series with changes to the public rooms and an extra deck added to provide additional capacity. Coupled with the transfer of Sea Princess to the UK, this change moves some of Princess' capacity growth from 2003 to 2004 and represents a further modernisation of the Princess fleet. Based on current plans, by the middle of 2004 the Princess fleet will have a weighted average age of under four years and will have an average ship size of approximately 2,300 lower berths. Approximately 55% of the cabins in the fleet will have balconies.
Peter Ratcliffe, Chief Executive Officer, P&O Princess Cruises stated:
"Our existing strong global reach and modern fleet gives us the flexibility to deploy our fleet strategically. The ship deployments we have announced today will enable us to accelerate our growth in the fast growing cruise segment of the UK holiday market, further modernise our fleet within North America and provide greater choice to our customers."
Appendix I: P&O Princess Cruises' Ocean Cruise Capacity and Deployment
Appendix II: Group Fleet and Summary of Changes
P&O Princess Cruises plc is a leading international cruise company with some of the strongest cruising brand names: Princess Cruises in North America; P&O Cruises, Swan Hellenic and Ocean Village in the UK; AIDA and A'ROSA in Germany; and P&O Cruises in Australia. It is a leading provider of cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, the Panama Canal and other Exotic destinations. The current complement of 18 ships offering 29,460 berths is set to grow in the next three years with seven new ocean cruise ships and three river cruise vessels on order.
P&O Princess Cruises has approximately 19,500 employees worldwide and carried over one million passengers in 2001, generating a revenue of approximately $2.5 billion (approximately £1.7 billion). Headquartered in London, P&O Princess Cruises' ordinary shares are quoted on the London Stock Exchange and as ADSs on the New York Stock Exchange (under the symbol "POC").
Certain statements contained in this announcement are ''forward-looking statements'' that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions with respect to P&O Princess Cruises and its subsidiaries, including certain statements concerning profit forecasts, working capital, future results, strategies, plans and goals and other events which have not yet occurred. These statements are intended to qualify for the safe harbours from liability provided by Section 27A of the US Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are part of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can find many (but not all) of these statements by looking for words like ''will'', ''may'', ''believes'', ''expects'', ''anticipates'', ''plans'' and ''estimates'' and for similar expressions. Because forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are many factors that could cause the statements, events or transactions described herein not to occur and/or P&O Princess Cruises', actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied in this announcement. These include, but are not limited to, economic and business conditions in general and, conditions in the cruise, travel and vacation industries in particular, including changes in industry cruise ship capacity and competition from other cruise ship operators and other vacation alternatives, safety and security concerns, incidents at sea, weather conditions, the political climate, fluctuations in interest rates, fluctuations in the price of oil, changes in the tax and regulatory regimes under which the company operates, capital expenditures, and factors impacting P&O Princess Cruises' international operations. In addition, the paragraph entitled ''Risk Factors'' in Section 5 of the EGM Circular dated 27 December 2001 and P&O Princess Cruises' Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2001 filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission contain important cautionary statements and a discussion of many of the factors that could materially affect the accuracy of the company's forward-looking statements and/or adversely affect its respective businesses, results of operations and financial position, which statements and factors are incorporated herein by reference.
Subject to any continuing obligations under applicable law or any relevant listing rules, P&O Princess Cruises expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to disseminate, after the date of this announcement, any updates or revisions to any such forward-looking statements to reflect any change in expectations or events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based.
Appendix I P&O PRINCESS CRUISES' OCEAN CRUISE CAPACITY AND DEPLOYMENT The first table below shows our actual passenger cruise days for 2001 and our estimated passenger cruise days for 2002 to 2005. The second table shows the number of berths in our fleet at April 2002 and projected growth in our geographic segments to 2005. These tables take account of our current newbuild programme and announced ship transfers, additions and withdrawals, including the changes announced today and also the announcement of the replacement of Minerva with Minerva II in April 2003. Passenger cruise days (millions) 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 North America 6.20 6.79 7.16 8.75 9.17 UK 2.23 2.32 3.28 3.65 3.62 Germany 0.59 1.06 1.79 2.21 2.49 Australia 0.44 0.42 0.43 0.42 0.44 _______________________________________ Total 9.46 10.59 12.66 15.03 15.72 _______________________________________ ----------------- Lower berths --------------- Segment Capacity at Additions Announced Transfers Projected Average April 2002 withdrawals capacity annual in 2005 growth in pcds (1) North 20,860 12,380 (640) (7,210) 25,390 10% America United 6,210 870 (1,060) 4,030 10,050 13% Kingdom Germany 1,190 2,540 - 3,180 6,910 43% Australia 1,200 - - - 1,200 0% ______________________________________________________________ Total 29,460 15,790 (1,700) - 43,550 14% ______________________________________________________________ (1) Average annual growth in passenger cruise days from 2001 to 2005 Appendix II GROUP FLEET AND SUMMARY OF CHANGES Ship Year of delivery Lower Berths Proposed changes Princess Cruises Pacific Princess 1971 640 Sold. Transfers to new owners in November 2002 Royal Princess 1984 1,200 Crown Princess 1990 1,590 Transfers to A'ROSA brand in June 2002 Regal Princess 1991 1,590 Planned to transfer to A'ROSA brand in Q2 2004 Sun Princess 1995 2,020 Dawn Princess 1997 2,000 Grand Princess 1998 2,590 Sea Princess 1998 2,010 Transfers to P&O Cruises brand in Spring 2003 Ocean Princess 2000 2,020 Transfers to P&O Cruises brand in October 2002 Golden Princess 2001 2,600 Star Princess 2002 2,600 Coral Princess 2002 1,970 To be delivered in November 2002 Island Princess 2003 1,970 To be delivered in Q2 2003 Diamond Princess 2003 2,670 To be delivered in Q2 2003 Sapphire Princess 2004 2,670 To be delivered in Q2 2004 Crown Princess 2004 3,100 To be delivered in Q2 2004 P&O Cruises Victoria 1966 700 Sold. Transfers to new owners in November 2002 Arcadia 1989 1,450 Transfers to Ocean Village in May 2003 Oriana 1995 1,830 Aurora 2000 1,870 Oceana 2000 2,020 Currently Ocean Princess. Joins P&O Cruises in October 2002 Adonia 1998 2,010 Currently Sea Princess. Joins P&O Cruises in Spring 2003 Swan Hellenic Minerva 1996 360 Chartered. Charter ends in April 2003 Minerva II 2001 700 To be chartered from April 2003 Ocean Village Ocean Village 1989 1,620 Currently Arcadia. Joins Ocean Village in May 2003 AIDA AIDAcara 1996 1,190 AIDAvita 2002 1,270 To be delivered in May 2002 AIDAaura 2003 1,270 To be delivered in Q2 2003 A'ROSA A'ROSA BLU 1990 1,590 Currently Crown Princess. Joins A'ROSA in June 2002 A'ROSA unnamed 1991 1,590 Currently Regal Princess. Planned to join A'ROSA in Q2 2004 P&O Cruises Australia Pacific Sky 1984 1,200
SOURCE Princess Cruises
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