Carnival blames market conditions and rising air fares
Carnival Cruise Lines has written to all its agent partners to say it will be pulling out of Europe next year. Despite spending millions on ad campaigns earlier in the year, it now blames “current market conditions, increasing air fares and the fact that most of our guests are from the US” for its decision.
The news is the latest to create negative headlines for the company during 2013, following power failures leaving its ships stranded at sea and in ports.
Carnival has two ships sailing out of Europe in 2013 – Carnival Legend out of Dover and Carnival Sunshine out of Barcelona. Legend will now be based in Australia. The cruise line says there is a possibility it may return to Europe in 2015.
The cruise line’s managing director for the UK, Adolfo Perez, told TTG Digital that “we still rely heavily on the North American market.” He said that 2013 had been a “challenging” year for the cruise sector. “You can see that in the pricing decisions being made across the industry,” he added.
[pictured: Carnival Breeze, which entered service in 2012; image courtesy Carnival Corp.]