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Published in: Cruise News

A deployment shuffle for 2019 for Norwegian Cruise Line will help drive earnings performance, according to NCLH President and CEO Frank del Rio.

The news start in China, where the Norwegian Joy will exit the market in favor of Alaska. The ship will transit to the West Coast and also drydock ahead of the Alaska season in 2019.

On the company's Thursday second quarter earnings call, del Rio dismissed any concern about putting more capacity into Alaska.

"The company has time and time again proven that we are able to profitably add new capacity in mature regions," said del Rio.

"And you don't have to look very far back for the latest example of our ability to create quality demand that outstrips supply growth. Capacity in Alaska for the Norwegian brand grew 15 percent in 2018 as a result of the addition of Norwegian Bliss while ticket pricing improved a whopping 25 percent in the same period," he added.

When not in Alaska, the Joy will move to Los Angeles to sail a series of Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal voyages, a market del Rio said was underserved.

"We are very excited to bring the new and premier cruise ship to this historically underserved West Coast market by providing winter sailings in the second largest metropolitan area in the country, which is a market riped with opportunity," he said.

The Joy's deployment then frees up even more capacity. It will allow the Jewel to move back to Australia for a third season, adding new sailings to New Zealand, the company's sixth largest source market.

The Norwegian Pearl will then move to Amsterdam, giving Norwegian six ships in Europe during the peak summer season.

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