A very definite trend toward the short one-, three-, and four-day cruise market is the result of the success enjoyed by the lines operating in this market.
Senior vice president of sales and marketing at Carnival Cruise Lines, Bob Dickinson, reports that since Carnival entered the three- and four-day market a year ago, the Carnivale has carried twice the number of passengers on an annual basis; 90% of these being first-timers to cruising. Due to the apparent demand for these cruises, Carnival is redeploying the Mardi Gras on three- and four-day cruises at the end of 1985.
Art Kane, vice president of corporate relations at Norwegian Caribbean Lines, observes, “1984 saw a 51% increase in the 3- and 4-day market, and though cruising is still a relatively unknown industry, the demand will continue to follow the available capacity.”
Dolphin Cruise Line president, Richard Knott, reports that the Dolphin IV is sailing at 96% capacity, on her Bahamas itineraries, and Eastern Cruise Lines president Bernard Chabot “definitely intends to stay with Eastern is short itineraries in Mexico and the Bahamas serviced by Azure Seas and Emerald Seas.
Chabot noted that as more lines enter the short cruise market, they will need to get creative, and added, “We did that when we added Little Stirrup Cay to our itinerary.”
DFDS has found its place in the even shorter one-day market with its SeaEscape program, which operates cruises daily out of Miami and Tampa, and soon to be added, Port Canaveral.
“Newcomers to cruising tend to be a bit wary of a longer cruise their first time, so SeaEscape provides an introduction to cruising without the high cost or long-term commitment,” says Michael Zachilli, executive vice president of SeaEscape, noting that the one-day cruises also attract a significant number of repeat passengers.
Joining DFDS in the one-day market, newly formed Venus Cruise Line plans to operate the Venus Venturer, formerly Scandinavian Sea, on daily sailings, also out of Port Canaveral.
Four ships now call regularly at Key West: The Galileo, Vera Cruz, Boheme, and the Bermuda Star, but none a allowed to be dockside during sunset, in order not to interfere with the worshipers of the setting sun…
Port Everglades is adding two new ships: The Cunard Princess, which begins service from that port October 9, 1985, with a trans-Atlantic sailing and a series of 21-day cruises to Acapulco; and Sitmar’s Fairsky which will join the port’s fleet October 9, 1986 for year-round eight-, nine-, and 11-day Caribbean cruises.