“If we can have our assets for up to 40 years we will,” said one senior cruise line executive at a recent industry event.
Cruise ships have traditionally been built and designed with a 30-year service life for their first owner, before being sold into secondary or non-competing markets.
That service life is now extending with large-scale drydock projects making existing tonnage competitive, with over 100 ships set to drydock this year, according to the 2020 Drydocking and Refurbishment Report by Cruise Industry News.
Better yet, with some new ships paying for themselves in as little as five years or less, an extended service window continues the earnings potential.
Classic ships can also serve new or untapped markets, while new ships compete against other new ships in the big-market homeports in North America, Asia or Europe.
When Cuba opened temporarily for U.S. travellers, it was the older tonnage from the mainstream cruise lines that we’re able to serve Havana, where the port offers limited infrastructure and can’t handle modern mega-ships.
But it comes down to the bottom line, according to previous remarks made by Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald on the company’s 2018 year-end and fourth-quarter earnings call.
“We’ll continue with the ship in the fleet if it’s relevant to the guests and its earning is key if it’s not then the ship will be gone,” he said.
Carnival Cruise Line has officially named Carnival Panorama in Long Beach, California, where the 4,008-passenger ship will be based.
No cruise line has deployed a new ship on the US west coast for 25 years, Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy told more than 2,000 guests at last night’s ceremony onboard.
Carnival Corporation chairman Micky Arison, Arnold Donald, the corporation’s chief executive; and Princess Cruises’ president Jan Swartz were just some of the leading industry figures in attendance for the naming of the line’s final Vista-class ship.
Chefs Guy Fieri, Emeril Lagasse and Rudi Sodamin were all given a rousing reception by the crowd on the ship’s lido deck.
Duffy said: “This is the first new ship that will homeport here year-round for 25 years. We are very happy to homeport [Carnival Panorama] here in Long Beach alongside Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination.”
Carnival Panorama has several new features including cooking school Carnival Kitchen, trampoline park Sky Zone and military veterans venue Heroes Tribute Bar.
Duffy said Heroes Tribute Bar on deck five was the feature which had “the most meaning”.
“At Carnival Cruise Line, we look to the godmother to personify the Carnival mission,” added Duffy, who introduced Carnival Panorama’s godmother Vanna White.
TV host White, who has starred in US game show Wheel of Fortune for 37 years, officially named the ship by pressing a button which smashed a bottle against the ship’s hull.
She said: “This naming of a brand-new ship is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that I will never forget.
“Thank you, Carnival Cruise Line, for allowing me to serve as the ship’s godmother. I just know that the ship will provide endless fun for families for years to come.”
Carnival Panorama is operating six, seven and eight-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach year-round.
Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald, far right, was joined onstage during the CEO Conversation panel by John Chernesky-the-puppet of Princess Cruises. The session was moderated by editor in chief Arnie Weissmann, seated, left. Photo Credit: Jamie Biesiada
FORT LAUDERDALE — Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald told an audience at CruiseWorld that being the largest cruise company in the world comes with two key advantages — stability and innovation — that help Carnival’s brands deliver industry-leading results.
The company has more than 100 ships, and it operates in every segment and several global source markets. “One of every two people who cruise go with one of our nine brands,” Donald said, which include Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Cunard Line, in addition to the namesake Carnival Cruise Line.
“Because we have such a large portfolio, it’s difficult for anyone thing happening somewhere in the world to take the company down,” Donald said.
Size matters in innovation too. “We have the scale and the capability to take on projects that others can’t,” he said.
A prime example of that is the costly OceanMedallion personalization technology that Carnival developed and rolled out initially on Princess Cruises.
“We invented it,” Donald said. “It’s not off-the-shelf apps.”
Donald ran down a list of developments at various Carnival brands, such as the roller coaster on next year’s Carnival Cruise Line newbuild, the Mardi Gras.
But when he forgot to mention Princess Cruises, a surprise guest made an appearance.
From behind the couch where Arnold was seated, up popped a Muppets-style character designed to look like Princess’ senior vice president of sales and trade marketing, John Chernesky. The puppet ribbed Donald and amused the crowd until the real John Chernesky bounded on stage to complain that the puppet has been impersonating him all over town.
The larger message to the puppet tomfoolery was to billboard the Jim Henson Creature Shop show, called “Inspired Silliness,” that will debut next month on the newest Princess ship, the Sky Princess.
When Donald finally regained the spotlight, he took some time to outline Carnival’s sustainability initiatives and defend the industry’s record.
He said that very little of the estimated 8 million tons of plastics in the ocean comes from ships, much less from cruise ships. “It comes from land; it comes through the rivers and gets into the ocean,” he said, adding, “Having said that, we don’t want anything going in the ocean. He said that Carnival has accelerated existing recycling efforts and processes to eliminate plastics from its waste stream.
Likewise, when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, a Carnival brand was the first to use liquified natural gas (LNG) to provide power in port, and Carnival Corp. will be the first to bring an LNG-powered ship to North America, with the Mardi Gras.
“Ultimately we want to get to zero-emission,” Donald said. But he said cruise emissions are a tiny fraction of the global equation. “The reality is if the cruise industry didn’t exist, you wouldn’t be able to measure the difference in emissions,” he said.