It has nearly become an industry trend: several cruise lines have emerged as ‘new’ in recent months, and more may follow.
While some cruise lines have developed new divisions and built new ships as part of their overall long-term strategy, others have been ‘forced to do something’ or wither in the wake of the onslaught of record new tonnage entering service in the next 36 months.
First, the Chandris Group launched its Celebrity Cruises division, a distinctly upscale product from its Fantasy Cruises.
Secondly, Costa Cruise Lines is shedding all of its older fleet, except the Costa Riviera, which will be refurbished to the company’s new ‘Euro-Luxe Cruises’ standard. New, expensive ships are replacing the older fleet.
Third, Effjohn acquired Crown Cruise Lines and made Crown its upscale division, an affiliate to Commodore. Now both Crown and Commodore are emerging under different colors than before.
Fourth, little Dolphin Cruise Lines is not so small anymore. The former one-ship company has become a three-ship operation. Moreover, it is also launching a new upscale division under the name of Majesty Cruises.
Fifth Premier Cruise Lines is re-launching itself in Port Canaveral under the marketing leadership of Karine Armstrong, formerly with Carnival Cruise Lines.
Sixth, Holland America Line will soon nearly double its capacity from four to seven ships.
Seventh, Kloster Cruise bas been restructured so that at the start of 1992, its divisions, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Cruise Line and Royal Viking Line, are very different from only a year ago.
Meanwhile, the two giants, Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line continue to grow, increasing their dominance of the market.
More industry changes can be expected in the next few months caused by the arrival of record new tonnage, which combined with the effects of the recession, is forcing cruise lines to discount. With more new ships arriving, some older ships have also been forced into secondary markets. Both developments dilute yields, thus threatening the viability of some operators in their present shape and form.