Cruise ships on the move as traveler demand changes

It was not all that long ago that cruise lines were boasting massive deployment to European waters for 2012 and into 2013. Now, it appears those waters across the pond might not be quite as attractive as at least one cruise line thought. Royal Caribbean is bringing one of their ships back to the U.S. On the other hand, some lines are expanding even beyond Europe as Celebrity Cruises heads to Australia and New Zealand and Carnival Cruise Lines hints at plans to court the UK cruise market. Let’s take a look.

The big news is that Royal Caribbean will redeploy Navigator of the Seas, scheduled to cruise in the Mediterranean, to the Caribbean for the 2011-2012 cruise season and sail out of Port Everglades, Florida.

“We are responding to vacationers’ demand for more Caribbean options this coming winter (and) spring,” Royal Caribbean spokesman Harry Liu told USA Today.

That’s good news for the U.S. cruise market as Navigator of the Seas will offer a unique series of five- to nine-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries between November 20, 2011 and April 14, 2012 when she goes back to Europe.Disney Cruise Line, who will complete the process of doubling it’s fleet soon, will move out of Vancouver after just one season. Sailing from Seattle next year, the line appears to be reacting to “the cost of flying” says the Regina Leader-Post who notes “Flying costs, especially with Disney’s high proportion of children, are important”.

Also, Celebrity Cruises plans to have six ships in the Caribbean during the winter of 2012-13, down from eight this coming winter. Celebrity is sending Celebrity Solstice to Australia and New Zealand and Celebrity Millennium will go to Asia for the first time calling in Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Halong Bay.

Even All-American Carnival Cruise Lines which has had a minimal presence in Europe is looking to the UK market for new passenger sourcing.

“We have a desire to source more people from the UK because of the common language we share,” Carnival chief executive Gerry Cahill told TTGLive.

Indeed, with new Carnival Magic debuting on May 1, 2011 and next-up Carnival Breeze coming out next year, the line will have plenty of experience and hardware in the area. Still, no announcements have been made on exactly how the Funship line will go after UK passengers.

“The UK market is a key priority for us, but how we try to attract it will be decided at a later date,” Cahill said, adding “There are a lot of options, and basing a ship in the UK could be one of those options.”

Flickr photo by Heroiclife

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