From Luxury Ocean Liners To Megaship Cruising
With the advent of large passenger jet aircraft in the 1960s, intercontinental travelers switched from ships to planes sending the ocean liner trade into a terminal decline. Certain characteristics of older ocean liners made them unsuitable for cruising duties, such as high fuel consumption, deep draught preventing them from entering shallow ports, and cabins designed to maximize passenger numbers rather than comfort.
Ocean liner services aimed at passengers ceased in 1986, with the notable exception of transatlantic crossings operated by the British shipping company Cunard Line, catering to a niche market of those who appreciated the several days at sea. In an attempt to shift the focus of the market from passenger travel to cruising with entertainment value, Cunard Line pioneered the luxury cruise transatlantic service on board the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2. International celebrities were hired to perform cabaret acts onboard and the crossing was advertised as a vacation in itself.
Sovereign of the Seas
Until 19751980, cruises offered shuffleboard, deck chairs, “drinks with umbrellas and little else for a few hundred passengers”. After 1980, they offered increasing amenities. As of 2010, city-sized ships have dozens of amenities.
Medium Ship Line #1: Royal Caribbean International
While it’s true that Royal Caribbean is better known for its large and mega-ships, the cruise line also has a fair number of medium-size ships whose maximum capacities are just shy of 2,500 guests. Each of these ships belongs to the Vision class or Radiance class, two families of older vessels whose smaller sizes allow them to explore more adventurous destinations, such as Alaska and Cyprus. But they also sail the Caribbean, offering Royal Caribbean loyalists a more intimate experience than the fleet’s larger ships.
Two More Carnival Cruise Ships Return To Service
The slow and steady return to service for Carnival Cruise Line continued this week as two cruise ships returned to service. Carnival Radiance officially sailed on her maiden voyage from LongBeach in California. Carnival Conquest sailed from the worlds cruise capital, PortMiami in Florida.
Carnival Conquests return to operations took no less than 21 months after she completed her last cruise just before the pause in operations that saw the entire cruise industry halted for more than a year and a half. The ship offers a range of three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas and will continue to do so through 2022.
In the meantime, Carnival Radiance sailed on her official maiden voyage after the vessel received an extensive make-over and total renovation of all areas onboard. Radiance will operate 3- and 4-day cruises from Long Beach for the foreseeable future. However, before she departed on her first voyage, there was a christening ceremony to take part in for the new ship in the Carnival fleet.
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New Cruise Ships And Trends For 2022
There are many new cruise ships scheduled to set sail in 2022. Many of these boast a more contemporary feel to their décor and interior, moving away from the traditional looks of the past cruise ships and moving to a more fashionable boutique hotel design.
The motivation for this stems from the fact that cruise operators need to attract a younger market. This evolution is necessary for making cruise businesses more resilient in the future by drawing the next generation of cruise tourists.
According to a 2020 GlobalData survey, 37% of Gen Z and Millennials said that they strongly or slightly agreed with the notion that they would book an international trip this year. In comparison, only 22% of those older than 35 responded with the same sentiment, highlighting that the younger generation may be more likely to travel in todays travel climate.
Furthermore, cruising has also become more popular with younger adults. In GlobalDatas Q3 2019 and 2021 global consumer surveys, the percentage of Gen Z and Millennial respondents who typically take a cruise holiday increased from 17% to 21%, indicating changes in consumer tastes.
Many travellers are opting to book directly with the operator rather than via an intermediary such as an OTA. According to a Q3 2019 GlobalData survey, 44% of consumers said they typically book via an OTA.
Global Cruise Passengers And Revenue
2021 provided a tough lesson for the cruise industry, with businesses aiming to make a swifter recovery from the latest round of lockdowns.
The cruise industrys recovery rate was modest in 2021. Although a 96% YoY increase sounds positive, it is still nowhere near pre-pandemic levels. In 2021, only 13.9 million passengers went on a cruise, 53% lower than the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.
With the fluctuations of global passengers, revenues will generally follow a similar pattern unless there is a substantial shift in consumer behaviour. Usually, the most significant impacts on a travel companys revenues, aside from passenger flows, are an economic recession, foreign exchange, or a change in booking trends.
During the pandemic, it has become clear that the latter affected cruise intermediary revenues. In 2021, revenue generated for cruises from intermediaries reached $19.5bn, a 65% YoY increase from $11.8bn. However, cruise passenger flows increased by 95% YoY, which is a significantly higher rate of improvement.
According to the CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group, Richard Fain, this was not unexpected. The worlds fourth-largest cruise company has seen intermediaries such as online travel agencies and high street agencies lose a proportion of their market share, with customers opting to book directly with the cruise operator rather than a third party.
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Saga Review Which Recommended Provider
Saga, which offers small-scale ocean cruises exclusively for the over-50s, is a new WRP for 2021. In the past, concerns over the transparency of its excursion prices have prevented us from recommending it, but it has made significant improvements in this area this year, without losing any of what makes its cruises so excellent. Customer service, quality of food and value for money are all second-to-none.
, or read our full Saga review for more information.
Large Ship Line #: Disney Cruise Line
If theres one thing Disney Cruise Linedoes well, its hospitality. The company has taken every lesson its learned from its parks and resort operations and implemented that into its four cruise ships, the 2,400-passenger Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, and the 4,000-passenger Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. The ships are designed for families through and throughthere are numerous themed activities every day, from meet-and-greets to full-blown parties with Disney charactersbut there are plenty of adults-only areas that provide a respite from little ones. That said, the ships are not over-the-top when it comes to Disney decor. In fact, theyre quite elegant, taking design inspiration from early-20th-century ocean liners and sporting Art Deco and Art Nouveau aesthetics. The four ships currently sail the Caribbean , Alaska, Europe, the Pacific Coast, and the Panama Canal. Three more ships, including Disney Wish, are scheduled to be added to the fleet between 2022 and 2025.
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Update On Carnival Cruise Line Ships And Latest Developments
Carnival Cruise Line update on ships restarting operations, delays at Grand Turk and Carnival Horizon on her way to dry dock.
Coming towards the busiest time of the year for cruise lines worldwide, there is undoubtedly enough happening these days at Carnival Cruise Line. The cruise line had to pull Carnival Horizon from service, one vessel made her service return, and one sailed on her maiden voyage kids are allowed back into Camp Ocean, and it took a little longer before Grand Turk welcomed back the first Carnival cruise ship.
We look at whats been happening in the past weeks and provide you with all the news you need to know about Carnival Cruise Line.
Like A Pack Of Wolves
I was heartbroken to see the ships sold off and scrapped like that, said Maggie Hetherington, 74, a retired nurse from Norwich in southeast England who has taken several cruises on the Fantasy and its sister ship Inspiration. They look like theyve been attacked by a pack of wolves.
Ms. Hetherington said she understood the economic considerations of the cruise companies but believes there will still be a demand for older ships once the pandemic is over.
Not everyone is into the big new high-tech ships, as impressive as they may be, she said. The Fantasys décor may be a little dated, but there is something appealing about walking into a smaller ship, hanging your hat and knowing your way around, she added. Theres also the element of nostalgia.
Derek Watson, 69, an avid cruiser from Liverpool in northern England took his first Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy. He said that such iconic ships should be phased out gradually and fans of the vessels should be allowed to take tours or book final excursions before they are scrapped.
Its just sad that these ships are being dismantled before having one last hurrah, Mr. Watson said. Its hard to stay optimistic and get excited about future cruises when so many are being retired at the same time.
But the cases aboard the Costa Diadema cropped up despite testing after passengers took shore excursions on the Greek Islands. The guests were asymptomatic and tested positive upon re-entry into Italy.
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Best Small Ships: Silversea
If youre ready to be completely pampered, Silverseas five-star service, smaller ships, and all-inclusive pricing is difficult to beat. Onboard, passengers enjoy free-flowing wines, in-suite dining, gourmet cuisine, enrichment lectures, 24-hour butler service, and included gratuities. Since most Silversea ships carry less than 300 guests, the company is a hybrid between yachting and cruising. Silverseas entertainment is very relaxed, so expect to unwind in luxurious lounges or in the onboard spa. There is no shortage of dining choices on Silversea vessels, ranging from intimate venues serving Asian fusion to open-air patios highlighting regional specialties.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line expects to start with short cruises to the Bahamas starting on July 2, 2021
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line continues to work closely with the CDC on the guidelines required to return to full service. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is busy working on developing its new protocols to comply with all requirements to ensure a safe return for guests to Grand Bahama Island.
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Criteria For Ship Color Status For Ships In Us Waters
The following table lists cruise ships operating or planning to operate in U.S. waters.
Ship color status is determined using surveillance data from the previous 7 daysregardless of voyage dates and CDC investigation findings.
The following persons are not included when determining a ships color status:
- Passengers who test positive for COVID-19 on the day of embarkation who do not board the ship, or
- Newly embarking crew members who test positive during their embarkation quarantine period.
Medium Ship Line #: Hurtigruten
What started as a coastal ferry company in Norway in 1893 has expanded its operations to include expeditions to such destinations as Antarctica, Cape Verde, and Greenland. Of Hurtigruten’s 14-ship fleet, there are seven expedition vessels, five of which fit 500 to 1,000 passengers. The cruise line’s two newest ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, are hybrid-powered ships, demonstrating Hurtigruten’s dedication to sailing as cleanly as possible to protect the environment.
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Small Ship Line #: Windstar Cruises
The lines six shipsthree sailing yachts and three all-suite motor yachtsspecialize in visiting ports that ban larger ships, like the Byzantine hilltop town of Monemvasia in the Greek Islands, and the sleepy, palm-fringed Caribbean island of Bequia. Those smaller ports can give a sense of intimacy that isn’t always present in the most common cruise destinations, allowing for wholly different experiences. In 2017, Windstar also became the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation, introducing further special itineraries with culinary themes and guest chefs.
Small Ship Line #: Quasar Expeditions
The first luxury line to sail the Galápagos, Quasar Expeditions is best known for its in-depth trips aboard its two intimate ships that carry fewer than 32 passengers each. Yet note the street cred of said ships: One of the two, the Grace, is the former yacht of Princess Grace of Monaco. The other, the Evolution, will allow you to retrace Darwin’s footsteps in the Galápagos. Book the Baltra Island itinerary, where you’ll work your way from San Cristóbal Island to Baltra, and explore all the central and southern islands of the archipelago in between.
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Grand Circle Cruise Line
Where they sail: Grand Circle Cruise Line sails small ships and river cruises all over the world, including an extensive list of European itineraries. The company plans to start sailing again in August, including to Greece, Turkey, and Italy.
Who needs the vaccine: All passengers must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before boarding. All crew will be fully vaccinated as well.
What other safety measures are in place: All ships have been equipped with High Efficiency Particular Air filters and buffets have been eliminated.
Find out more: Grand Circle Cruise Line
Large Ship #1: Costa Cruises
Italian cruise line Costa Cruises, which operates under parent company Carnival, has quite a history: it was founded in 1854 as a cargo shipping company, transporting olive oil and textiles around the world. Transferring to the leisure cruise side of the business in 1959, Costa currently operates 11 shipsthe majority of which accommodate between 2,800 and 5,300 passengersthat sail all over the world. Its next ship, Costa Toscana, will debut in December 2021.
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Best Luxury Expedition: Ponant
With cruise roots dating back to 1988, Ponant shifted its direction in 2009 and took the luxury cruise industry by storm with the introduction of Le Boréal, followed by four sister ships. The French-influenced cruise line blends modern technology with traditional French luxury in its yacht expedition vessels that boast more space and fewer passengers. Better yet, there are some cutting-edge industry firsts like an underwater viewing lounge with reinforced glass to gaze out below the water line, all while ocean sounds and visuals are projected. The current fleet consists of the four sister ships and six small-sized Ponant Explorers. Dining onboard features French cuisine with plenty of open-air venues. Plus theres a spa, fitness center, theater, and heated saltwater pools and solariums.
Costa Cruises Italian Vibes Worldwide
For a true European feel with all the delicious cuisine, rich history, and luxurious culture of Italy, cruisers cant go wrong with Costa Cruises. This line sails more than a dozen ships throughout the Mediterranean and on different itineraries worldwide, bringing its understated elegance far past its Italian origins.
While Costa Cruises generally hosts fewer young cruisers and caters more to an adult audience, there are still childrens programs and a variety of activities suitable for all ages onboard, as well as more unique experiences such as small onboard dairies featuring luxurious cheeses.
Adventurous passengers will especially enjoy the tailored shore tours and multinational focus of Costa Cruises, and this is an ideal line for anyone interested in a rich, multifaceted cruise vacation.
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Large Ship #: Msc Cruises
Nearly half of MSCs fleetnamely those ships in the Musica and Fantasia classesfalls into the large cruise category, with most of its newer builds firmly taking a bigger is better stance. The eight large vessels primarily sail in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, though they do offer itineraries in North and South America, Asia, and Northern Europe, too. The family-friendly ships skew toward the upscale side, and theyre known for their incredibly international crowds.
Small Ship Line #1: Sea Cloud Cruises
Germany’s Sea Cloud Cruises has three elegant windjammers: Sea Cloud,Sea Cloud II, and Sea Cloud Spirit, which accommodate 64, 94, and 136 passengers, respectively. These sailing yachts primarily split their time between the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, though they’ll occasionally explore the Panama Canal and Northern Europe, too. The oldest ship in the fleet is Sea Cloud, built in 1931 for an American heiressat the time, it was the largest private yacht in the world. It later served the United States in World War II before ultimately returning to pleasure sailings.
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Medium Ship Line #1: Marella Cruises
U.K.-based cruise line Marella, which is operated by TUI UK, has a fleet of four ships that hold between 1,100 and 2,000 passengers, sailing itineraries around Europe, the Middle East, North America, and the Caribbean, with some special journeys to Asia. The sailings are billed as all-inclusive, and they do include alcoholic beverages and tips, but some of the specialty restaurants cost an extra fee.
As Subsidiary Of P& o Princess Cruises: 20002003
On October 23, 2000, the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company spun-off its passenger division to form an independent company, P& O Princess Cruises. In 2001, Princess Cruises headquarters moved from Century City to Santa Clarita, near the Westfield Valencia Town Center.
With the debut of Golden Princess in North America in 2001, Sky Princess was deployed to Australia for P& O Cruises Australia in 2000 and replace Fair Princess. Sky Princess was transformed into Pacific Sky to become the sister brand’s first modern-era cruise ship for the recently spun off P& O Cruises Australia.Star Princess commenced operations in March 2002 and became the first “mega-ship” to operate from the West Coast on a full-time basis. In June 2002, Crown Princess was transferred to P& O Princess’ new start-up brand, A’Rosa Cruises, to be the only cruise ship in A’Rosa’s fleet to help launch the brand.
Coral-Class: Panamax Ships
Coral PrincessPacific Princess,Grand Princess
Acquiring Former Renaissance Cruise Ships
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