Itinerary Planning

Cruise lines were announcing new itineraries for 2012 going into 2013, itinerary changes for this year, driven by the unrest in Northern Africa and part of the Middle East, and new ship deployments, as this issue went to press.

Going into 2011, 2012 and 2013, the trend is for more (ship) capacity to be deployed for a longer European season, while more capacity is also going to Australia.

Winter Mediterranean capacity is also building up, but those who expect a warm or mild winter in the Mediterranean may have been surprised to have seen Moammar Gadhafi’s recent appearance on television wearing a winter hat more suited for Alaska than Northern Africa.

Asia is growing ever so slowly, but another market that may be at risk of overheating, like South America, is Australia. In addition to the steady build-up of the P&O Cruises fleet and two year-round ships from sister company Princess, other brands are also targeting the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Brand Strategies

As Royal Caribbean Cruises is broadening its passenger source markets around the world, ship deployment follows suit, according to Christopher Allen, director of global deployment.

Carnival Cruise Lines ships are on the “move” resulting from the introduction of new ships, but also to offer new products in certain markets and to adjust to new market realities.

“We look at three sets of numbers,” said Terry Thornton, senior vice president of market planning, “ticket revenue opportunity, onboard revenue opportunity, and fuel costs”

Itinerary planning is basically driven by three factors, according to Crane Gladding, senior vice president of revenue management and passenger services at Norwegian Cruise Line. The first priority is that guests must have a good and safe experience. The second priority is profitability. And the third priority is the source market, enabling the cruise line to sell the itinerary.

And there is more: Corpus Christi and Savannah may soon be cruise ports; Baltimore is planning a second berth; Princess is returning to Galveston; Happy Cruises is adding a third ship; and Mexico has declared a tourism agenda.

For the full reports, please read the March 3, 2011 edition of Cruise Industry News, the Newsletter, click here to subscribe.