Following on from the post about Carnival’s new builds, here’s a list of the ships either under construction or on order for NCL and its associated companies. The companies included are NCL itself, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Oceania Cruises.

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Not a very long list, this time. Note there are currently no ships either under construction or on order for Oceania Cruises – that line had two new ships in 2011 and 2012. You might also wonder how NCL comes to own these two subsidiaries which you could argue are very different from the parent company; well, this is a fairly recent development and I did a couple of posts about it here and here.

I’m still waiting for replies from Royal Caribbean and MSC about their newbuilds, and as soon as I get anything from them I’ll add the information.

 

I did a post last week about a press notice from Carnival Corp in which they announced two new ship orders, for HAL and Princess. In the press notice was a statement to the effect that this brought to 19 the number of ships that Carnival Corporation would have under construction or on order. I wasn’t sure what they all were, so I contacted Carnival Corp and received a very helpful reply. I’ve summarised what was in that reply and have produced the list below.

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Three lines will each get four new ships:

  • Princess – all of them new Royal Princess-class ships, with the first due to arrive very shortly;
  • Costa, of (I think) two classes – two of the big 180,000 ton LNG ships and the other two being smaller. Will these smaller ships be enhanced Carnival Vista-class ships? They’re intended for the Chinese market, certainly;
  • Carnival Cruise Line (CCL), also of two classes – two more Carnival Vistas and two of the big LNG ships.

Then there will be three for AIDA – the second AIDAPrima-class ship from Mitsubishi and two of the big LNG ships; two for HAL, both being Pinnacle-class ships and therefore sisters to Koningsdam; and finally one each for Seabourn and P&O UK. It was originally announced that P&O Australia would get a new-build, possibly a Carnival Vista-class ship, but that decision was reversed late last year – that new ship is the ‘Late 2019’ ship for CCL, while P&O Australia will get a somewhat-smaller refurbished ship from them.

Perhaps the most interesting ships in the list are the seven big LNG ships which will be the largest ships ever built for Carnival Corporation. The original announcement for four of these ships was made in June 2015, and the additional three were announced in September 2016 – I missed that. All seven will be built by Meyer, three at Papenberg and four at the Turku yard in Finland that Meyer bought in April 2015. I shall be interested to study the deck plans, etc, for them, especially as one of them will go to P&O. We shouldn’t have to wait too long to get more information about these ships – since the first pair (for AIDA and Costa) are being delivered in 2019, I assume that those lines will have marketing material available either later this year or some time in 2018 at the latest.

I believe that almost all of the other ships will be built by Fincantieri of Italy, at one or another of their various yards. They have built many ships for Carnival Corp. over the years.

I’m going to try and keep this list updated as time passes. Once again, many thanks to the people at Carnival Corp who passed the information on to me.

 

Carnival Corporation have just announced a further two new ships. They have signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with Fincantieri to build a third ‘Pinnacle’ class ship for Holland America, and a sixth ‘Royal Princess’ class ship for Princess Cruises, and they expect to sign a firm contract for the ships in ‘early 2017’. The HAL ship (99,500 tons) will be constructed at Maghera for delivery in 2021 while the Princess ship (145,000 tons) will be constructed at Monfalcone and delivered in 2022. Carnival say that they now have 19 ships due for delivery between 2017 and 2022.

The Pinnacle class is a post-Panamax development of HAL’s Signature class (Eurodam, among others), itself a development of the Vista class. The new ship (when it arrives…) will therefore be a somewhat distant relative of Cunard’s Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, and even a very distant relative of P&O’s Arcadia. So far only the first Pinnacle class ship, Koningsdam, has gone into service.

The Princess ship is announced as being the sixth of the Royal Princess class. The others are named as Royal, Regal and Majestic Princess(es), with two more ordered and so far unnamed. So it seems thatP&O’s Britannia isn’t regarded as a member of the class.

Here’s a link to the Carnival Corporation announcement.

There’s a press release on the relevant Carnival Corp. webpage that announces that for Adonia’s 2017/18 Caribbean season – that is, next winter – P&O have contracted with Virgin Atlantic to provide the flights from Manchester and Heathrow to Barbados, and some seats in existing (public) flights from Gatwick. Here’s a link to the relevant page.

I gather that using a carrier other than Thomas Cook or Thomson for these Caribbean cruise flights is quite unusual. It’s not clear what the reason is for the decision – it could be that Virgin Atlantic came in with a great bid, or perhaps the regular airlines had no capacity available. Following her announced release from Fathom, Adonia’s Caribbean programme has been arranged at short notice and later than that for other ships.

While Virgin Atlantic gets a general thumbs-up, one person who commented on this pointed out that on a flight (non-cruise, I believe) to Barbados with Virgin Atlantic a few years ago, the aircraft used was older and not comparable with Virgin Atlantic services to Miami and New York. We’ll know more by this time next year!

This may well be old news, but here’s a link to a page on the P&O website showing some results of Oriana’s recent refit. I must say, the results do look attractive. I could feel tempted…

Of course, she’s been back in service for about month now, and has completed a couple of cruises in that time. If any of my readers has been on her since the refit I’d love to hear your reactions. Pictures, too, please.

Following the collapse of All Leisure Group the issue arose of consumer protection for customers of a travel enterprise that goes out of business. There are various means by which customers can protect themselves, or ensure that they are protected as a result of the choices they make. I became interested in learning what those were, and equally the situations where customers are not protected.

Given that the topic has wider applicability than just cruise holidays, I did a post on this subject earlier today in my Travel blog rather than here. If anyone can see any glaring omissions or errors, please let me know via a comment in the Travel blog.

There’s an interesting interview with Roger Allard, chairman of the just-failed All Leisure Group company, in Travel Weekly.

You’d be best reading the whole interview, but I gleaned a few interesting points from it:-

  • First, he apologies profusely for the closure of the business, and blames it on a ‘perfect storm’ of adverse influences;
  • He’s saying that the decision to close down the business was not taken at the last possible moment but at an early stage. As a result, there is money in the bank to pay creditors and refund fares, etc, for passengers who have made bookings;
  • My interpretation of his words is that it was Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery that broke the company, and that this was for two reasons: a) so much of expenses for these companies are paid abroad in currencies other than GBP, and b) it wasn’t possible to increase prices (especially for existing bookings, presumably). On the first of these reasons, he points out that the drop in the value of sterling after the June referendum increased the sterling cost of expenditure in € and US$ by 14% and 20% immediately;
  • It has also become harder to travel to the areas where Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery have traditionally sailed due to the continuing unrest in the region. Many cruises lines have stopped making calls at Istanbul, for example;
  • The other businesses, Travelsphere and Just You, were more resilient, and have found a new owner;
  • And Hebridean Island Cruises, which has a predominantly UK-focused set of itineraries, has also been found to be potentially profitable and has been saved. (I’m hoping to find out more about more about that later today).

It’s always disappointing to see companies fail. There will be inquests into this one, as there always are, and I will read the outcome with interest. However, at the moment this looks like a controlled demolition rather than an out-of-control crash.

That said, I recognise that’s no consolation to passengers who have had their cruises cancelled, in some cases at just a few days’ notice, and who must be very disappointed. Given also that the Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery operations were so different from the mainstream industry, it’s difficult, unfortunately, to see a like-for-like alternative for the affected passengers.