‘New’ Drives Business

In recognition of the importance of newness and that ‘new’ helps drive business, cruise lines are increasingly undertaking major renewal efforts of their existing ships. Carnival Cruise Lines has joined with a major effort, called Fun Ship 2.0. Among other projects is the 1993-built, 53,000-ton Costa Romantica which is being rebuilt to the tune of 90 million euro. When done she will emerge as the neo-Romantica with two new half-decks with 111 new cabins. Balconies will be added to 120 existing cabins and suites.

In addition, Norwegian Cruise Line has reinvented itself with a new brand platform. According to analysts and travel agents surveyed by Cruise Industry News, so-called newness drives consumer demand. In addition, new ships tend to drive premium pricing – at least for the first couple of years of service

FCCA Report

Leading cruise line executives focused on the global aspect of the cruise industry and told Caribbean destinations they should be less worried about competition from other islands than from Europe and Asia. And the Caribbean is unlikely to increase its take, as executives complained about rising costs across the board – including of fuel costs, commodity and food prices, as well as inflationary cost issues.

ECA Status

Industry sources are hinting that ECA compliance may not be as stringent as originally stipulated and expected. The EPA has previously told Cruise Industry News it is open to discussions on innovative approaches.

Cruise Week

Oct. 17 to 23 is the stage for what the Cruise Lines International Association calls "The World's Largest Cruise Sale." That is when the 25 cruise line members of the association and more than 5,000 travel agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada team up for National Cruise Vacation Week.

Oslo Homeporting

With extensive airlift from the UK and Germany in addition to consistent non-stop airlift from New York (Newark) on SAS and United, and a third player, Norwegian, coming into the picture in 2013, Oslo could start taking a bigger piece of the turn-around pie in Northern Europe. Meanwhile the port is coming off a 2011 season that saw a 20 percent jump in calls, and predicting a 2012 with another modest increase, according to port officials. Cold ironing is also online in the port, but just for Color Line at the moment. The Color Magic started plugging in October 2011, while the Color Fantasy will get its plug sometime next year.

And there is more:  Celebrity offers “free” two-day cruise; Louis announces 2012 program for Eastern Mediterranean; Costa will have four ships and IberoCruceros three in South America in 2012/2013; and MedCruise has elected a new president and board.

For the full reports, please read the Oct. 20, 2011 edition of Cruise Industry News, the Newsletter, click here to subscribe.