Carnival UK has announced that it is rationalising its portfolio with the phasing out of the Ocean Village brand, beginning in Autumn 2009.  Consistent with Carnival’s strategy of investing in brands which show the greatest growth potential, both Ocean Village ships will transfer to the P&O Cruises Australia brand, the first in time for Christmas 2009 and the second a year later.

Commenting on the move, David Dingle, CEO of Carnival UK and Chair of the Carnival Australia Management Committee, said:

“In reviewing the most effective deployment of our ships, we have recognised the major growth potential in the Australian market and the profit opportunity which awaits.  Clearly it is disappointing to wind down our Ocean Village operation which has been superbly created and delivered by an excellent management team, but we must recognise the need to maximise profit performance from our assets.  Ocean Village has done much to change the face of British cruising, and all our UK brands have benefited from this.  The arrival of new ships for P&O Cruises and Cunard in 2010 and the continuing development of Princess Cruises in Britain will ensure that Carnival UK continues its growth despite the redeployment of the Ocean Village vessels.”

Ocean Village will operate a single ship in the Caribbean in Winter 2009-10 and the previously published programme will be adjusted, with existing bookings amended accordingly.  A European programme will be operated in 2010.  P&O Cruises will take delivery of the 3,100 bed Azura in March 2010 and the new 2,100 bed Queen Elizabeth will join the Cunard fleet in October 2010.