Caribbean Capacity Down for 2008

Caribbean capacity among leading cruise operators is slated to be down 4 percent in 2008, for a total of 5,563,966 passengers – compared to 5,814,860 in 2007 – according to estimates by Cruise Industry News.

Carnival Cruise Lines is expected to be down 2 percent over 2007. In 2008, the Elation, which sailed 53 short Caribbean cruises in 2007, will instead be in Baja, Mexico. However, that will be offset somewhat by the Legend and the Freedom offering more sailings in 2008, and the addition of the Carnival Splendor, doing seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises from Ft. Lauderdale, starting in November.

Royal Caribbean Internationals capacity is also slated to be down – 4 percent over 2007. The Rhapsody of the Seas will be in Asia next year; the Splendour of the Seas will sail in South America and the Mediterranean; and the Radiance and the Legend of the Seas will not return to the Caribbean at the end of the year – instead they will be redeployed in South America and Asia, respectively. However, the Liberty of the Seas will be sailing for the entire year in 2008, and the Independence of the Seas will be added for six cruises.

Princess Cruises is expected to be down 4 percent as well. The Star Princess will be in South America and Alaska in 2008, and the Sun Princess will be doing Australia/South Pacific cruises. This will be offset somewhat by the Ruby Princess, sailing weeklong cruises from Ft. Lauderdale to the Western Caribbean starting in November, and additional sailings on the Emerald Princess.

Norwegian Cruises Line expects be down 24 percent. The Norwegian Dawn will be in Bermuda and New England/Canada during the summer season, hence doing fewer Caribbean cruises; and the Norwegian Gem will be extending her season in the Mediterranean, also taking away from her Caribbean sailings; The Norwegian Sun will spend the summer in Alaska, before moving on to South America in November; and the Norwegian Dream will not be in the Caribbean at all in 2008 – instead sailing in South America, New England/Canada, and Bermuda.

For Holland America Line, capacity will remain roughly the same year-over-year, although the line will have 10 ships in 2008, compared to eight in 2007. The Eurodam will be added for 11, seven-day cruises out of Ft. Lauderdale, starting in October; in addition the Statendam and Rotterdam will be doing one and two sailings, respectively; and the Amsterdam will not be sailing ( although she only did three cruises in 2007). Holland America will also be increasing its seven-day, Southern Caribbean cruises.

Celebrity Cruises will be the only line increasing its presence in the Caribbean – up 16 percent over 2007 – however the line bas been down considerably the past couple of years. Celebrity will be adding the Celebrity Solstice in 2008, sailing seven-night cruises out of Ft. Lauderdale, as well as the Summit, which will be doing seven-night sailings out of San Juan, offset by the Zenith, which sailed 16 times for Celebrity in 2007, and has since left the fleet.

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