Cruise Companies Pursue Different Brand Growth Strategies

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The multi-brand cruise companies will continue to grow their largest and most popular brands, but individual brand growth may surprise, according to the 2019 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.

While Carnival Cruise Line brand will continue to be the dominant brand for Carnival Corporation over the next decade, carrying twice as many passengers as the second-largest brand, Costa Crociere will see the most capacity growth over the same time period, driven partially by its short cruises in China.

AIDA will be third in terms of capacity growth, followed by Princess Cruises.

Altogether the Carnival brands will grow their passenger capacity from an estimated 12 million (double occupancy) in 2019 to some 16 million in 2027, barring any ship withdrawals and deployment changes.

At Royal Caribbean Cruises, the Royal Caribbean brand will also continue to dominate and could be the single largest brand in the world by 2027, growing by an estimated 1.2 million passengers, twice the projected capacity growth for the Carnival brand over the same time period. TUI Cruises, which is 50 per cent owned by Royal Caribbean, will also see significant growth. However, Celebrity, which will see less growth over the same time period, will remain the second-largest brand at Royal Caribbean. The total capacity for the Royal Caribbean brands is forecast to grow to about 9 million.

MSC Cruises will move up to become the third-largest cruise company with the most capacity growth of any brand, from an estimated 2.4 million in 2019 to nearly 5 million by 2027.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings moves to fourth place, however, the Norwegian Cruise Line brand will see the second largest passenger capacity increase. Total capacity for the three Norwegian brands is estimated at 3.7 million in the nine-year forecast.

Genting will also see significant relative growth and remains the fifth largest cruise operator.

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Celebrity turns to a different operator for Edge spa

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Celebrity Cruises said the spa operator on its new Celebrity Edge will be One Spa World, a division of Steiner Leisure, rather than Canyon Ranch SpaClub, the operator on previous ships.

Celebrity said the spa will be designed by New York decorator Kelly Hoppen and occupy 22,000 square feet.

The spa will offer more than 124 treatments, including signature offerings such as the Ocean Spa Wave Massage, Hot Mineral Body Boost, Poultice-Powered Muscle Release, Zero Gravity Wellness Massage, Restorative Salt Stone Massage, and Thousand Flower Detox Wrap, Celebrity said.

The Persian Garden, a room of heated ceramic loungers on current Celebrity ships, will evolve into the Sea Thermal Suite, with eight distinctive therapeutic experiences. They will include the hammam, salt room, steam room, rainfall water therapy room, float room, heated tile loungers, infrared sauna and Crystalarium.

AquaClass guests receive complimentary access to the Sea Thermal Suite, among other complimentary amenities, Celebrity said.

New to the spa on Edge will be several speciality treatment tables. They include:

• Spa Wave MLW Amphibia Table: A water-filled cushion conforms to the curves of the guest’s body. Colour therapy lighting.

• WellMassage4D Table: This treatment table, a Celebrity first, uses breakthrough technology to deliver a deeper and more relaxing massage.

• MLX Quartz Table: Another Celebrity first, warm crystals mould and shape around the body, releasing muscle tension and promoting a deeper state of relaxation.

Celebrity said MediSpa treatments on the Edge will include Dysport Wrinkle Treatments and Restylane® Dermal Filler Treatments.

Celebrity also said it will partner with Kerastase, a luxury haircare brand, to introduce the first Kerastase Institute at sea.

The fitness centre on the ship will offer hot yoga, Technogym Group Cycle, Fitness on Demand virtual fitness programming, cardio boxing, Bungee Fit equipment and Peloton spinning bikes.

The Celebrity Edge’s maiden cruise departs Dec. 16 from Fort Lauderdale.

Celebrity Edge to sail in Europe in summer 2019

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Celebrity Cruises’ president and chief executive has told UK agents to “sell the hell out of Celebrity Edge” to ensure one of the next Edge-class ships is based in Southampton.

Speaking as she announced European deployment for Celebrity Edge in summer 2019, including a two-night cruise from Southampton for UK agents, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said: “It’s in agents’ hands. We have five Edge-class ships coming between 2018 and 2023 and depending on how the UK trade reacts to the first ship, then there’s always a chance I could deploy a future ship to Southampton.

“It’s in your hands. Sell the hell out of Celebrity Edge and you will leave me no choice but to bring a future one to Southampton.”

Jo Rzymowska, vice-president and managing director, UK & Ireland and Asia, said: “The fact that our president and chief executive is coming to London to make the announcement about Edge’s European deployment speaks volumes for how she views the UK cruise market. It’s hugely important to Celebrity Cruises.”

She added that Celebrity hadn’t staged an inaugural sailing for trade partners in Southampton since the launch of Celebrity Eclipse in 2010.

“Seeing truly is believing so this will give us the chance to show agent partners exactly why Celebrity Edge is so revolutionary and so unique,” said Rzymowska, adding: “Edge is such an outward-facing ship, connecting guests to the sea wherever possible, so we wanted to showcase her in Southampton in the spring rather than in the depths of winter.”

The next generation ship, which launches in October 2018, is Celebrity’s first new build for six years and first of a new class of vessel for a decade.

It will be showcased to the UK travel trade from May 13-15 in Southampton before setting off on a 10-night Iberian Peninsular cruise to Rome, calling at various ports in Spain, Portugal and Italy.

From there, it will offer seven, nine, 10 or 11-night sailings from Rome and Barcelona. Customers wanting to sail for 14 nights can book the two full cruises back-to-back and will call at only one repeat port during the fortnight.

Rzymowska said: “For the UK audience, we expect the 14-night open jaw sailing to be really popular. The only repeat port is Florence, so guests can go to Florence one way, and then Pisa the other.”

Ports of call include Monte Carlo, Capri and Mykonos, along with the likes of Ibiza and Valencia where Celebrity Edge will offer longer evening stays in port.

The ship will also visit two brand new ports – Nauplion in the Peloponnese region of Greece and Santa Margherita, on the Italian Riviera close to Portofino.

Rzymowska added: “We’ve taken a lot of time to really plan itineraries that will appeal to the modern luxury lover. In total, Edge will sail to 30 ports of call, to 10 countries with five overnights in one season [May-October].”

The announcement of Edge’s 2019 summer season in Europe takes Celebrity’s European deployment to five ships, and cements Celebrity’s commitment to the region and its European markets.

Edge’s summer 2019 European season will go on sale at 8pm tonight (Tuesday) and the operator warned agents to be ready for an anticipated surge in calls and bookings.

“We expect there to be quite a race for space for the high-end affluent suites on this ship,” said Rzymowska. She added that all of the line’s 2019 summer deployment would be released at the same time.

Celebrity Cruises has developed a range of supporting materials and assets for the trade to enable agents to promote the new itineraries on their websites. This will include a 20-page direct mailer that agents can over-brand and distribute to their own customers; digital guides, itineraries and images.

Rzymowska revealed a new shore excursion programme, offering in-depth, authentic and locally-inspired experiences, was being curated.

Lutoff-Perlo said: “The UK & Ireland is such a significant market for us that we wanted to celebrate the start of her summer season by offering guests the first scheduled European cruise direct from Southampton.

“To further support our key trade partners, we will also be hosting an exclusive 2-night preview, so that our beloved agents have the opportunity to experience Celebrity Edge first-hand.”