Monday, 1 December 2014

All change as cruise ships move between fleets

Last month was busy in terms of cruise ship transitions as Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Princess Cruises all sold off a cruise ship each.

A couple of weeks ago Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd announced it was selling Royal Caribbean International’s Majesty of the Seas to its Pullmantur brand in 2016. This was the final Sovereign class that Royal Caribbean International was operating, having previously sold-off Sovereign of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas to the Pullmantur brand in 2008 and 2013 respectively.

Pullmantur's Sovereign cruise ship

"Majesty of the Seas has created wonderful memories for millions of guests, and we expect this record of success to continue as she transitions to Pullmantur," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

This sale shows how much confidence Royal Caribbean International have in its larger vessels, such as the world’s biggest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, and technologically advanced Quantum of the Seas, fulfilling and sustaining demand for the cruise line.

Majesty of the Seas will bid farewell to the Royal Caribbean International fleet in April 2016.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd also announced that they are to form a strategic partnership through SkySea Cruises with Ctrip.com designed to serve the Chinese cruise market.

Speaking of Ctrip, Exquisite Marine Ltd., a subsidiary of Ctrip International Ltd, has entered into an agreement to acquire Celebrity Century from Celebrity Cruises.

Cruising demand is booming in China right now and this move is designed to supply extra capacity to the market where it is needed.

Celebrity Century will bid farewell to the Celebrity Cruises fleet on 5th April 2015. She will be redeployed to Asia via a sailing from Dubai to Singapore.

Lastly, as John Honeywell reported last week, Princess Cruises has sold Ocean Princess to Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which will be joining the Oceania Cruises fleet. The ship will undergo a 35-day refurbishment at a cost of $40 million (£25 million) transforming the vessel ready for fare-paying passengers in late April 2016.

This announcement from Oceania Cruises has fuelled speculation that Azamara Club Cruises is likely to make an announcement shortly about its fleet. Rumour has it that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd may opt for a new build rather than buying a second-hand vessel.

(Photo credit to Pullmantur)