Carnival Cruise Holdings announced yesterday that it has signed an agreement with Carnival Corporation and plc to operate the remaining international fleet of Carnival and Holland America Line ships in 2023. The deal will allow Carnival to own and operate up to 75 percent of the combined fleet, with the balance of the fleet being operated by Carnival Corporation and plc. The agreement follows a recent agreement between Carnival Cruises and the other shareholders in Carnival Corporation which was announced last month.
It seems like a no-brainer that Carnival Cruise Lines (NYSE:CUK) would be a good buy for shareholders. The company’s aggressive growth strategy has been paying off handsomely, with its fleet expanding and its market share increasing. But how does the company stack up to its main competitor, Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL)? Both companies operate the same type of massive, mega-yacht-like vessels that offer a mix of both luxury and speed. Both have expanded their fleets in recent years, while investing in new technology to upgrade ship amenities and improve the passenger experience.
The world’s largest cruise company, Carnival Corporation & plc, today announced that it anticipates resuming guest cruise operations aboard 65 percent of its total fleet across eight different brands by the close of 2023.
Carnival Cruise Line, the parent company’s namesake brand, has also announced intentions to restore all of its ships to service by the end of 2023, bringing the parent company’s total operational capacity to almost 75% by the end of the year.
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To date, eight of Carnival Corp’s nine global brands—AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises (U.K.) and Seabourn—have revealed plans to resume passenger sailings on 54 ships through the end of 2023. Nearly half of the ships that constitute their combined fleet capacity are homeported in the U.S.
Carnival Cruise Line’s intention to return its entire fleet to service this year would add nine ships to the tally, bringing Carnival Corp’s overall fleet capacity to 63 ships that are expected to resume guest operations by the end of 2023, in addition to the other brands’ ships that are slated for operational restart.
Individual companies are anticipated to make further restart announcements in the coming weeks, including plans for more ships and itineraries to resume operation in 2023. The brands are progressively restarting operations from global ports, including sailings from the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Mediterranean, as well as planned excursions to Central America, Antarctica, and other destinations.
Here’s a rundown of the Carnival Corp. brands that have made relaunch announcements so far:
Brands in North America:
Three Carnival Cruise Line ships have resumed sailing from Galveston and Miami, respectively, in the United States. The company has said that it plans to have 15 ships operational by the end of October and the rest of its fleet sailing by the end of the year.
Princess Excursions will restart passenger cruise operations on July 24, with the first ship traveling from Seattle to Alaska, and a series of cruises in British waters will begin in late July. Then, in the fall, cruises from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Fort Lauderdale will resume to destinations such as the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii, and the California coast, with eight of the brand’s ships anticipated to be operational by the end of 2023.
Beginning July 24, Holland America Line will restart passenger cruise operations, with its first ship operating a Seattle-to-Alaska route. It will resume sailings from Greece in August, as well as Italy and Spain in September. Cruises to the California coast, Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean are planned for the fall, with a total of six ships anticipated to be operational by the end of the year.
Seabourn has restarted passenger service, with two ships departing from Greece and Barbados thus far. In November, the company intends to restart a third vessel for the Antarctica season.
Trieste, Italy’s Costa Deliziosa. Costa Cruises provided this image.)
Europe & Asia Brands:
Costa Cruises resumed passenger sailings in Greece and Italy in May, and has since added trips to France and Spain. In September, sailings to Portugal and Turkey will begin, bringing the total number of ships sailing in Mediterranean seas to seven by the end of the year.
In March, AIDA Cruises resumed guest sailings in the Canary Islands, and in May, it added trips to Greece and Germany. It will add new sailings in Spain, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, and the Persian Gulf from late July to December, increasing its total operational fleet to nine ships by the end of 2023.
P&O Cruises (U.K.) resumed guest cruises as of June, when it began a series of summer sailings around coastal waters of the U.K. In September, the brand plans to expand to the Mediterranean, the Atlantic coast and the Caribbean, for a total of four ships in planned operation by the end of the year.
Cunard will begin passenger cruises in August, with one ship operating coastal excursions in the United Kingdom, followed by trips to the Iberian coast and the Canary Islands. In November, the line intends to re-enter service with a second ship that will sail a mix of transatlantic and Caribbean routes.
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