EasyCruise has announced its winter program for the 170-passenger easvCruiseOne in the Caribbean from November 12, 2005 until April 26, 2006, starting at nine pounds per person, per day, in a standard cabin for two. Prices will vary, based on demand, according to a spokesperson. July cruises in the Mediterranean are quoted at £31.7 per person, per day, or £63.33 per cabin. "As demand goes up, so does the price," the spokesperson explained. "The earlier people book, the less they pay," he added.
The easyCruiseOne will spend Saturdays and Sundays in Bridgetown (to make it easier to catch a suitable flight in and out of the island, according to the line); Mondays in St. Vincent; Tuesdays in Martinique; Wednesdays in the Grenadines; Thursdays in Grenada; and Fridays in St. Lucia.
EasyCruise, however, recommends that passengers sail seven-day cruises out of Bridgetown, Martinique, Grenada or St. Lucia, which all have international air connections, although the required minimum stay onboard is only two nights.
The spokesperson would not comment directly on whether easyCruise has had to tweak or adjust its product after start-up, nor what the occupancy rates are, but noted that the company has hit its target: attracting passengers who otherwise would not cruise, he said.
"The average age of our passengers is 33," the spokesperson said. "The age of the average cruise passenger is 54. That means that for every four-year-old child on a cruise, there is an 80-year old as well."
EasyCruise does not accept passengers below 18. Passengers have so far been of 90 different nationalities, with Americans representing almost 15 percent of the total. The average cruise length is five days.
While the stated objective is to generate $100 per passenger, per day, in revenue in the Mediterranean, the spokesperson conceded that the goal may be a lesser amount in the Caribbean.
With rates starting at £9 per person, a standard double cabin is £ 18 per night. Quadruples lower the starting price to less than seven pounds per person, per day, while a suite for two costs £33 per person, per day. In addition is full cabin service at £9.5 per night. However, this can be broken down if full service is not required, according to easyCruise, for linen change only, or fresh towels only.
The ship has a sports bar/cafe that serves lunch and dinner as well as all-day breakfasts at reasonable prices, a bar for drinks only, a coffee bar and a small shop for additional onboard revenue.
In addition, shore excursions are also offered and are sold onboard.
Crew tips are not included and are at the passengers' discretion, according to the line. The ship has a total crew of 54. All bookings are via easyCruise's website so the company is "saving" 10 percent to 15 percent of its ticket revenues by not paying commission to travel agents.
According to Cruise Industry News, if easyCruise is able to generate as much as $100 per passenger, per day, and if sailing full all the time, the one-ship operation can generate upward of $6 million in revenues per year.
Is that enough to be profitable? Apparently not, according to the spokesperson, who hedged, and said that all the Easy businesses are based on high volume and low margins.
Hence, plans call for a second ship, and he said that the owner and founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou is presently considering whether to acquire an existing vessel or build a new ship.
A second ship would be deployed in the Greek isles during the summer and sail out of Dubai during the winter.