Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2017
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies


Basis of Presentation


Our consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and contain all normal recurring adjustments necessary for a fair presentation of the results for the periods presented. Estimates are required for the preparation of consolidated financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and actual results could differ from these estimates. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions are eliminated in consolidation.




Certain amounts in prior periods have been reclassified to properly reflect promotional discounts allocated between passenger ticket revenue to onboard and other revenue. During the fourth quarter of 2017 we reclassified $21.9 million of revenue from passenger ticket revenue to onboard and other revenue for the prior three quarters. This cumulative adjustment for 2017 amends the multi-element allocation of revenue between these two financial statement line items. This change does not impact total revenue or net income, nor did it impact any periods in 2016 or 2015.


Cash and Cash Equivalents


Cash and cash equivalents are stated at cost, and include cash and investments with original maturities of three months or less at acquisition and also include amounts due from credit card processors.


Restricted Cash


Restricted cash consists of cash collateral in respect of certain agreements and is included in prepaid expenses and other assets and other long-term assets in our consolidated balance sheets.


Accounts Receivable, Net


Accounts receivable are shown net of an allowance for doubtful accounts of $5.9 million and $4.7 million as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.




Inventories mainly consist of provisions, supplies and fuel and are carried at the lower of cost or net realizable value using the first-in, first-out method of accounting.


Advertising Costs


Advertising costs are expensed as incurred except for those that result in tangible assets, including brochures, which are treated as prepaid expenses and charged to expense as consumed. Advertising costs of $2.4 million and $1.3 million as of December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively, are included in prepaid expenses and other assets. Expenses related to advertising costs totaled $289.1 million, $270.5 million and $232.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.


Earnings Per Share


Basic EPS is computed by dividing net income by the basic weighted-average number of shares outstanding during each period. Diluted EPS is computed by dividing net income by diluted weighted-average shares outstanding. A reconciliation between basic and diluted EPS was as follows (in thousands, except share and per share data):


    Year Ended December 31,  
    2017     2016     2015  
Net income   $ 759,872     $ 633,085     $ 427,137  
Basic weighted-average shares outstanding     228,040,825       227,121,875       226,591,437  
Potentially dilutive shares     1,377,501       728,411       3,448,695  
Diluted weighted-average shares outstanding     229,418,326       227,850,286       230,040,132  
Basic EPS   $ 3.33     $ 2.79     $ 1.89  
Diluted EPS   $ 3.31     $ 2.78     $ 1.86  


For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, a total of 5.6 million, 7.1 million and 2.8 million shares, respectively, have been excluded from diluted weighted-average shares outstanding because the effect of including them would have been anti-dilutive.


Property and Equipment, Net


Property and equipment are recorded at cost. Major renewals and improvements that we believe add value to our ships are capitalized as a cost of the ship while costs of repairs and maintenance, including Dry-dock costs, are charged to expense as incurred. During ship construction, certain interest is capitalized as a cost of the ship. Gains or losses on the sale of property and equipment are recorded as a component of operating income (expense) in our consolidated statements of operations.


Depreciation is computed on the straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets, after a 15% reduction for the estimated residual values of ships as follows:


Useful Life
Ships 30 years
Computer hardware and software 3-10 years
Other property and equipment 3-40 years
Leasehold improvements Shorter of lease term or asset life
Ship improvements Shorter of asset life or life of the ship


Long-lived assets are reviewed for impairment, based on estimated future undiscounted cash flows, whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Assets are grouped and evaluated at the lowest level for which there are identifiable cash flows that are largely independent of the cash flows of other groups of assets. We consider historical performance and future estimated results in our evaluation of potential impairment and then compare the carrying amount of the asset to the estimated future cash flows expected to result from the use of the asset. If the carrying amount of the asset exceeds estimated expected undiscounted future cash flows, we measure the amount of the impairment by comparing the carrying amount of the asset to its fair value. We estimate fair value based on the best information available utilizing estimates, judgments and projections as necessary. Our estimate of fair value is generally measured by discounting expected future cash flows at discount rates commensurate with the associated risk.


Goodwill and Tradenames


Goodwill represents the excess of cost over the fair value of net assets acquired. Goodwill and other indefinite-lived assets, principally tradenames, are reviewed for impairment on an annual basis or earlier if there is an event or change in circumstances that would indicate that the carrying value of these assets may not be fully recoverable. We use the Step 0 Test which allows us to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is more likely than not (i.e., more than 50%) that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying value. For tradenames we also provide a qualitative assessment to determine if there is any indication of impairment. In order to make this evaluation, we consider the following circumstances as well as others:


  · Changes in general macroeconomic conditions such as a deterioration in general economic conditions; limitations on accessing capital; fluctuations in foreign exchange rates; or other developments in equity and credit markets;


  · Changes in industry and market conditions such as a deterioration in the environment in which an entity operates; an increased competitive environment; a decline in market-dependent multiples or metrics (in both absolute terms and relative to peers); a change in the market for an entity’s products or services; or a regulatory or political development;


  · Changes in cost factors that have a negative effect on earnings and cash flows;


  · Decline in overall financial performance (for both actual and expected performance);


  · Entity and reporting unit specific events such as changes in management, key personnel, strategy, or customers; litigation; or a change in the composition or carrying amount of net assets; and


  · Decline in share price (in both absolute terms and relative to peers).


We have concluded that our business has three reporting units. Each brand, Norwegian, Regent and Oceania Cruises, constitutes a business for which discrete financial information is available and management regularly reviews the operating results and, therefore, each brand is considered an operating segment.


For our annual impairment evaluation, we performed a Step 0 Test for the Norwegian, Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises reporting units. As of December 31, 2017, there was $523.0 million, $462.1 million and $403.8 million of goodwill for the Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas and Norwegian reporting units, respectively. As of December 31, 2017, our annual review consisting of the Step 0 Test supports the carrying value of these assets.


Revenue and Expense Recognition


Deposits received from guests for future voyages are recorded as advance ticket sales and are subsequently recognized as passenger ticket revenue on a pro-rata basis over the period of the voyage, concurrent with recognition of onboard and other revenue and with recognition of all associated direct costs of a voyage as cruise operating expenses. Guest cancellation fees are recognized in passenger ticket revenue in the month of the cancellation. Certain of our product offerings are accounted for under the guidance included within multi-element arrangements and result in an allocation of the fair value between passenger ticket revenue and onboard and other revenue.


Revenue and expenses include port fees and taxes. The amounts included on a gross basis are $327.4 million, $286.6 million and $243.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.


Debt Issuance Costs


Debt issuance costs related to a recognized debt liability are presented in the consolidated balance sheets as a direct deduction from the carrying amount of that debt liability, consistent with debt discounts. For line of credit arrangements and for those debt facilities not fully drawn we defer and present debt issuance costs as an asset. These deferred issuance costs are amortized over the life of the loan agreement. The amortization of deferred financing fees is included in depreciation and amortization expense in the consolidated statements of cash flows; however, for purposes of the consolidated statements of operations it is included in interest expense, net. 


Foreign Currency


The majority of our transactions are settled in U.S. dollars. Gains or losses resulting from transactions denominated in other currencies are recognized in income at each balance sheet date. We recognized losses for the year ended December 31, 2017 of $14.2 million and gains were approximately $4.5 million and $11.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively.


Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activity


We enter into derivative contracts to reduce our exposure to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates and fuel prices. The criteria used to determine whether a transaction qualifies for hedge accounting treatment includes the correlation between fluctuations in the fair value of the hedged item and the fair value of the related derivative instrument and its effectiveness as a hedge. As the derivative is marked to fair value, we elected an accounting policy to net the fair value of our derivatives when a master netting arrangement exists with our counterparties.


A derivative instrument that hedges a forecasted transaction or the variability of cash flows related to a recognized asset or liability may be designated as a cash flow hedge. Changes in fair value of derivative instruments that are designated as cash flow hedges are recorded as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) until the underlying hedged transactions are recognized in earnings. To the extent that an instrument is not effective as a hedge, gains and losses are recognized in other income (expense), net in our consolidated statements of operations. Realized gains and losses related to our effective fuel hedges are recognized in fuel expense. For presentation in our consolidated statements of cash flows, we have elected to classify the cash flows from our cash flow hedges in the same category as the cash flows from the items being hedged.


Concentrations of Credit Risk


We monitor concentrations of credit risk associated with financial and other institutions with which we conduct significant business. Credit risk, including but not limited to counterparty non-performance under derivative instruments, our New Revolving Loan Facility and new ship progress payment guarantees, is not considered significant, as we primarily conduct business with large, well-established financial institutions and insurance companies that we have well-established relationships with and that have credit risks acceptable to us or the credit risk is spread out among a large number of creditors. We do not anticipate non-performance by any of our significant counterparties.




We use a combination of insurance and self-insurance for a number of risks including claims related to crew and guests, hull and machinery, war risk, workers’ compensation, property damage, employee healthcare and general liability. Liabilities associated with certain of these risks, including crew and passenger claims, are estimated actuarially based upon known facts, historical trends and a reasonable estimate of future expenses. While we believe these accruals are adequate, the ultimate losses incurred may differ from those recorded.


Income Taxes


Deferred tax assets and liabilities are calculated in accordance with the liability method. Deferred taxes are recorded using the currently enacted tax rates that apply in the periods that the differences are expected to reverse. Deferred taxes are not discounted.


We provide a valuation allowance on deferred tax assets when it is more likely than not that such assets will not be realized. With respect to acquired deferred tax assets, future reversals of the valuation allowance will first be applied against goodwill and other intangible assets before recognition of a benefit in our consolidated statements of operations.


Share-Based Compensation


We recognize expense for our share-based compensation awards using a fair-value-based method. Share-based compensation expense is recognized over the requisite service period for awards that are based on a service period and not contingent upon any future performance. We refer you to Note 9—“Employee Benefits and Share-Based Compensation.”


Segment Reporting


We have concluded that our business has a single reportable segment. Each brand, Norwegian, Oceania Cruises and Regent constitutes a business for which discrete financial information is available and management regularly reviews the operating results and, therefore, each brand is considered an operating segment. Our operating segments have similar economic and qualitative characteristics, including similar long-term margins and similar products and services; therefore, we aggregate all of the operating segments into one reportable segment.


Although we sell cruises on an international basis, our passenger ticket revenue is primarily attributed to U.S.-sourced guests who make reservations in the U.S. Revenue attributable to U.S.-sourced guests was 77%, 81% and 75% for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. No other individual country’s revenues exceeded 10% in any of our last three years.


Revenues by destination were as follows (in thousands):


    Year Ended December 31,  
    2017     2016     2015  
North America   $ 3,285,903     $ 3,132,208     $ 2,743,007  
Europe     1,347,381       1,148,403       1,120,705  
Asia-Pacific     394,631       196,978       198,131  
Other     368,260       396,751       283,205  
Total Revenues   $ 5,396,175     $ 4,874,340     $ 4,345,048  


Substantially all of our long- lived assets are located outside of the U.S. and consist primarily of our ships. We have 17 ships with Bahamas registry with a carrying value of $8.0 billion as of December 31, 2017 and 16 ships with Bahamas registry with a carrying value of $7.1 billion as of December 31, 2016. We have seven ships with Marshall Island registry with a carrying value of $1.9 billion as of December 31, 2017 and 2016. We also have one ship with U.S. registry with a carrying value of $0.3 billion as of December 31, 2017 and 2016.


Recently Issued Accounting Guidance


In December 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“the Act”) was enacted. Among other provisions, the Act reduces the U.S. federal corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. The SEC staff issued SAB No. 118, which addresses how a company recognizes provisional amounts when a company does not have the necessary information available, prepared or analyzed (including computations) in reasonable detail to complete its accounting for the effect of the changes in the Act. The measurement period ends when a company has obtained, prepared and analyzed the information necessary to finalize its accounting, but cannot extend beyond one year.  As of December 31, 2017, we have not completed the accounting for the tax effects of enactment of the Act; however, as described below, we have made a reasonable estimate of the effects on existing deferred tax balances. These amounts are provisional and subject to change.  The most significant impact of the Act for the Company was a $7.4 million reduction of the value of net deferred tax liabilities (which represent future tax expenses) that was recorded as a discrete tax benefit as a result of lowering the U.S. corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. The tax benefit represents a provisional amount and the Company’s current best estimates. Any adjustments recorded to the provisional amount through the end of 2018 will be included in income from operations as an adjustment to tax expense. The provisional amounts incorporate assumptions made based upon the Company’s current interpretation of the Act and may change as the Company receives additional clarification and implementation guidance.  Other aspects of the Act are either not applicable or not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s financial statements.


In August 2017, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2017-12The objectives of this ASU are to improve the financial reporting of hedging relationships to better portray the economic results of an entity’s risk management activities in its financial statements and to make certain targeted improvements to simplify the application of the hedge accounting guidance in current GAAP. This ASU is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018 and interim periods within those fiscal years. We will adopt in the first quarter of 2018. For cash flow hedges, a cumulative-effect adjustment relating to the elimination of the separate measurement of ineffectiveness to accumulated other comprehensive income is required with a corresponding adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings. The presentation and disclosure guidance is required prospectively.


In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-04 which simplifies the test for goodwill impairment by eliminating Step 2 from the goodwill impairment test. Step 2 measures a goodwill impairment loss by comparing the implied fair value of a reporting unit’s goodwill with the carrying amount of that goodwill. The guidance is effective for annual or any interim goodwill impairment tests in years beginning after December 15, 2019. Early adoption is permitted for interim or annual goodwill impairment tests performed on testing dates after January 1, 2017. We do not expect to early adopt this guidance. We will evaluate the impact upon adoption of this guidance to our consolidated financial statements.


In October 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-16 which requires companies to recognize the income-tax consequences of an intra-entity transfer of an asset other than inventory when the transfer occurs, rather than when the asset has been sold to an outside party. We will adopt the new standard effective January 1, 2018, using the modified retrospective transition approach through a cumulative-effect adjustment of $19.1 million to retained earnings as of the effective date. The cumulative-effect adjustment captures the write-off of previously unamortized deferred income tax expense from past intra-entity transfers involving assets other than inventory, and recognition of any new deferred tax assets, net of necessary valuation allowance and other liabilities for amounts not previously recognized under U.S. GAAP.


In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-15 which amends Topic 230 (Statement of Cash Flows) to eliminate discrepancies in reporting certain items in the statement of cash flows. We will adopt a retrospective application in the first quarter of 2018. Currently, the only transactions that will require a reclassification is in connection with our debt extinguishment and deferred financing fees.


In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02 which sets out the principles for the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of leases for both parties to a contract (i.e. lessees and lessors). The ASU requires lessees to recognize assets and liabilities on the balance sheet for the rights and obligations created by all leases with terms of more than 12 months. The ASU further modifies lessors’ classification criteria for leases and the accounting for sales-type and direct financing leases. The ASU will also require qualitative and quantitative disclosures designed to give financial statement users additional information on the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases. The ASU is effective for annual reporting periods, and interim periods within those annual periods, beginning after December 15, 2018 with early adoption permitted. The ASU is to be applied using a modified retrospective approach. To evaluate the impact of the adoption of this guidance, we are currently reviewing our existing leases and evaluating contracts to determine what might be considered a lease under the new guidance.


In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09 which requires entities to recognize revenue through the application of a five-step model, including identification of the contract, identification of the performance obligations, determination of the transaction price, allocation of the transaction price to the performance obligation and recognition of revenue as the entity satisfies the performance obligations. We will adopt a modified retrospective application in the first quarter of 2018. We have reviewed our contract and business processes and we are concluding on changes to our controls to support recognition and disclosure requirements. Based on our evaluation to date, we determined no significant changes are required to our business processes, systems and controls to effectively report revenue recognition under the new standard. Upon adoption we will reclassify to prepaid expenses and other assets from advanced ticket sales certain deferred costs incurred to obtain our contracts. Adoption of the new standard will require additional disclosures, however, it is not expected to materially change the timing, classification or amount of revenue recognized in our consolidated financial statements.