The integration of two new sister ships into the fleet plus the use of vessels as floating hotels during major sporting events helped Norwegian Cruise Line towards a buoyant first quarter.

Net profit rose to almost $50 million in the three months to March 31 against $12.9 million in the same period last year based on a 26% rise in revenue to $664 million.

The higher revenue was mainly driven by the addition of Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway to the fleet in May 2013 and January 2014, respectively.

Net yield improved by 3.8% as a result of higher cruise prices, onboard and other revenue.

Norwegian used two charters of Norwegian Getaway as a Bud Light-sponsored floating hotel in New York for the Super Bowl in January and Norwegian Jade for the winter Olympics in Sochi to showcase the brand and introduce new potential passengers.

President and chief executive Kevin Sheehan said: “Our strong results in the quarter include an almost four-fold increase in earnings on an adjusted basis.

“With both Breakaway class ships now in our fleet, it is easy to appreciate the impact of their impressive earnings power, which includes commanding double-digit premiums over other Norwegian ships in the same itinerary.

“Our young modern fleet, including our earnings-rich new builds, coupled with our strategy of consistent deployment, particularly our commitment to the European market, allow us to reiterate our full year adjusted earnings per share guidance, which translates into 60% earnings growth,” added Sheehan.

Norwegian Epic, currently the largest ship in the fleet, is to transfer from the Caribbean to sail year-round in Europe from autumn 2015 to be replaced by new ship Norwegian Escape out of Miami.

Sheehan said: “This deployment not only demonstrates our commitment to providing a consistent offering for our guests and travel partners, but also our ability to exploit the growth of our fleet to return to markets where we had a past presence or expand into new markets. 

“In addition, our growing fleet allows us to deploy some of our most innovative assets to enhance our presence in key markets, as is the case with Norwegian Epic in Europe.

“Her deployment out of Barcelona will give the UK and continental European markets the ability to sail year-round on one of the world’s largest and most innovative ships.”