Renaissance Cruises is dramatically expanding its deployment in 2001 and expanding its source-market strategy to include more non-Americans. At the same time Renaissance appears to be taking the concept of strategic discounting to a new level: at press time, inside cabins aboard 10-night cruises in the Mediterranean aboard the new R7 between Jan. 11-31, 2001 were being sold for $499, or $49.90 per night an 88 percent discount on the brochure rate of $3,998.

Explaining the deployment changes for next year, Renaissance Co-CEO Frank De Rio said, "We had just three itineraries available at the beginning of 2000, and for 2001 passengers can now choose from 42 different itineraries." In 2000, Renaissance featured cruises in Europe and Tahiti with its newer vessels, plus an Indian Ocean program with its smaller, older ships. In 2001, the company will bring newer ships to the Indian Ocean, add capacity throughout Asia, and enter the Caribbean, South American and Transatlantic markets. The lineup also features several longer voyages, including a 50-night voyage from Bangkok to Athens aboard the R1, and a 61-night cruise around South America aboard the R8. With the addition of the new 684-passenger R8 in March 2001, total passenger cruise-day capacity for the company increases from 1,415,880 in 2000 to 1,928,880 in 2001, a rise of 36 percent.

Cruise Industry News estimates Renaissance's total passenger capacity for 2001 will be 164,616.

The expanded reach of the fleet deployment has prompted Renaissance to rethink its formerly all­ American sourcing strategy. According to Del Rio, "We expect five percent of our business in 2001 will come from international sources and by 2002 this should grow to 10 percent of our annual passengers." This demographic change is the impetus behind Renaissance's previously reported decision to alter its non-smoking policy, to better appeal to "a broader spectrum of guests from other countries," said Del Rio.

Renaissance 2001 Fleet Deployment

Region Ships             Capacity1        Share2    
Mediterranean         8 70,566 42.9%
Asia/Pacific 6 61,560 37.4%
North/West Europe 4 18,468 11.2%
Indian Ocean 6 7,866 4.8%
South America 2 2,736 1.7%
Caribbean 1 2,052 1.2%
Transatlantic 2 1,368 0.8%
Total   164,616 100%

(1) Based on double occupancy (2) Represents % of line's overall worldwide capacity in that market.