Focus On Cruising

Exploring the Wonderful World of Cruise Ships

A Crowded Horizon

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Princess announced last week that contracts with Fincantieri Shipyard have been finalized and two new, as yet unnamed, ships will be delivered to Princess in the next few years. That announcement brings to a total of 11 the number of ships on order across all of Carnival Corporation’s brands.  All 11 ships will be delivered by June 2014.  Some of these ships will hold as many as 3600 passengers.

Joining Carnival’s armada of new ships will be NCL’s Norwegian Epic, debuting mid-June; Royal Caribbean’s immense Allure of The Seas; the Oceania Marina and another, unnamed, vessel; three from MSC Cruises – the Magnifica, Musica, and Maraviglia; the Disney Dream; and a new ship for Celebrity.

The dominant players in the industry, then, will take delivery of 20 new vessels in the space of 4 years.  If we add in the recently launched Celebrity Eclipse and the brand new Seabourn Sojourn, 22 new vessels will be competing for the cruise vacationer’s affections.  To give a sense of perspective, that’s the equivalent of creating a new line with as many ships as Carnival Cruise Lines – but with bigger ships!

What effect will this enormous increase in capacity have on cruise fares?  There simply are too many factors involved to give a glib answer.  Some older vessels may leave the fleets and go to smaller lines, reducing capacity.  The world economy may rebound, generating more demand.  I don’t know.  What I do know is the thought of 22 new ships to explore makes my heart skip a beat.  The possibility that I can explore them at lower cost makes me ecstatic.

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