Royal Caribbean to Reflag

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has applied for permission to reflag its fleet in either Panama or the Bahamas.

According to several reports, RCCL would reconsider its request if the Norwegian government approves pending legislation that would create a Norwegian international flag. The line reportedly also has said it would reconsider registering its new ship, Sovereirn of the Seas, in Liberia, as has been announced, if such an international flag is approved.

In another cost-cutting move, RCCL recently worked out new manning guidelines resulting in on­ board cutbacks through 1988 that will eventually save the company about $5 million per year, according to reports. New on-shore manning rules are expected to save the company another $5 million, and all of the layoffs are expected to be rehired when Sovereign of the Seas begins service, a representative from the union reportedly said.

Below is a listing of the current flag distribution for ships over 5,000 tons:

Country of Registry       # of Ships
Panama 24
Bahamas 14
Greece 10
England 9
Liberia 8
Italy 6
Norway 4
Netherlands Antilles           3
West Germany 2
Yugoslavia 1
Finland 1

* Source: Fearnley’s World Cruise Fleet, January 1987

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