Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2019
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies


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.

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.

Accounts Receivable, Net

Accounts receivable are shown net of an allowance for doubtful accounts of $10.6 million and $9.6 million as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, 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 $5.9 million and $0.8 million as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively, are included in prepaid expenses and other assets. Expenses related to advertising costs totaled $400.6 million, $327.3 million and $289.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

Earnings Per Share

Basic earnings per share is computed by dividing net income by the basic weighted-average number of shares outstanding during each period. Diluted earnings per share is computed by dividing net income by diluted weighted-average shares outstanding.

A reconciliation between basic and diluted earnings per share was as follows (in thousands, except share and per share data):

Year Ended December 31, 







Net income







Basic weighted-average shares outstanding







Dilutive effect of share awards







Diluted weighted-average shares outstanding







Basic earnings per share







Diluted earnings per share







For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, a total of 4.0 million, 4.7 million and 5.6 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. Ship improvement costs that we believe add value to our ships are capitalized to the ship and depreciated over the shorter of the improvements’ estimated useful lives or the remaining useful life 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. The useful lives of ship improvements are estimated based on the economic lives of the new components. In addition, to determine the useful lives of the ship or ship components, we consider the impact of the historical useful lives of similar assets, manufacturer recommended lives and anticipated changes in technological conditions.

Depreciation is computed on a 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



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 also may conduct a quantitative assessment comparing the fair value of each reporting unit to its carrying value, including goodwill. This is called the Step I Test which consists of a combined approach using discounted future cash flows and market multiples to determine the fair value of the reporting units. The market approach considers revenue and EBITDA multiples from an appropriate peer group. Our discounted cash flow valuation reflects our principal assumptions of 1) forecasted future operating results and growth rates, 2) forecasted capital expenditures for fleet growth and ship improvements and 3) a weighted average cost of capital of market participants, adjusted for an optimal capital structure.

We believe that the combined approach is the most representative method to assess fair value as it utilizes expectations of long-term growth as well as current market conditions. For the tradenames, we may also use a quantitative assessment, which utilizes the relief from royalty method and includes the same forecasts and discount rates from the discounted cash flow valuation in the goodwill assessment along with a tradename royalty rate assumption.

We have concluded that our business has three reporting units. Each brand, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas and Norwegian, 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.

As of December 31, 2019, 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. For our 2019 annual goodwill and tradename impairment evaluation, we elected to perform quantitative tests for the Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas and Norwegian reporting units. Based on the results of the tests, we determined there was no impairment of goodwill or tradenames because the fair values exceeded the carrying values.

Revenue and Expense Recognition

Deposits on advance ticket sales are deferred when received and are subsequently recognized as revenue ratably during the voyage sailing days as services are rendered over time on the ship. Cancellation fees are recognized in passenger ticket revenue in the month of the cancellation. Goods and services associated with onboard revenue are generally provided at a point in time and revenue is recognized when the performance obligation is satisfied. A receivable is recognized for onboard goods and services rendered when the voyage is not completed before the end of the period. All associated direct costs of a voyage are recognized as incurred in cruise operating expenses.

Disaggregation of Revenue

Revenue and cash flows are affected by economic factors in various geographical regions.

Revenues by destination consisted of the following (in thousands):

Year Ended December 31, 







North America




























Total revenue







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 brand level 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 81%, 77% and 77% for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. No other individual country’s revenues exceeded 10% in any of our last three years.

Substantially all of our long-lived assets are located outside of the U.S. and consist primarily of our ships. We had 19 ships with Bahamas registry with a carrying value of $10.2 billion as of December 31, 2019 and 18 ships with Bahamas registry with a carrying value of $9.1 billion as of December 31, 2018. We had seven ships with Marshall Island registry with a carrying value of $1.9 billion as of December 31, 2019 and 2018. We also had one ship with U.S. registry with a carrying value of $0.3 billion as of December 31, 2019 and 2018.

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. 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 other income (expense), net at each balance sheet date. We recognized a loss of $7.0 million, a gain of $19.8 million and a loss of $14.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, 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 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, changes within the measurement period that result from new information about facts and circumstances that existed at the acquisition date shall be recognized through a corresponding adjustment to goodwill. Subsequent to the measurement period, all other changes shall be reported as a reduction or increase to income tax expense 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 11— “Employee Benefits and Share-Based Compensation.”

Recently Issued Accounting Guidance

In January 2017, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2017-04, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other (Topic 350) — Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment, 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, with early adoption permitted for interim or annual goodwill impairment tests performed on testing dates after January 1, 2017. The Company has not early adopted this guidance. The Company will evaluate, upon adoption of this guidance, the impact of this guidance on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments—Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments, which will require an entity to present the net amount expected to be collected for certain financial assets, including trade receivables. Under this update, on initial recognition and at each reporting period, an entity will be required to recognize an allowance that reflects the entity’s current estimate of credit losses expected to be incurred over the life of the financial instrument. The update will be applied prospectively with a cumulative-effect adjustment to retained earnings. This update will be effective for the Company for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019 and interim periods within those fiscal years. The adoption of this standard will not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.