(PRWeb UK) January 30, 2011
The recent increased violence in Mexico has led many cruise lines to leave their Southern California ports in favour of more peaceful territories. As of publication, Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Lines have all announced plans to move ships from San Diego and Los Angeles.
At CruiseLineFans, we are unhappy to see some of our favourite ships like the Carnival Sprit, Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas and NCL’s Norwegian leave their usual ports. But it’s time to focus on the positive aspects of this story and examine which communities will gain a ship and the new itineraries resulting from these developments.
Mariner of the Seas
The Port of Galveston, TX will be welcoming the 3,100-passenger Mariner of the Seas to her new home. The Mariner of the Seas will spend the first part of the year offering a variety of 6, 8, & 9 night cruises out of Rome, and touring Italy, France and Spain, as well as several voyages during her upcoming South American leg. The first cruise out of Galveston, TX departs on November 20 and heads to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. Additional destinations will also include Jamaica and Grand Cayman.
Tampa, Florida is the lucky recipient of the Norwegian Star and her 2,240 passengers. Sharing Tampa as a seasonal homeport will be the Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Legend, Holland America and Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas. The Norwegian Star will offer cruisers 7-day voyages to Belize, Honduras, and Cozumel, in full freestyle cruising mode.
Lastly, the Carnival Spirit is making Australian tourism history by becoming the first Carnival ship based outside of North America and largest ship (at 88,500 tons) to be based in Australia – she doesn’t fit under the Harbour Bridge in Sydney. As a result, passengers will embark and disembark via the Circular Quay’s Overseas Passenger Terminal. Some of the changes Carnival Spirit passengers embarking from Sydney, starting in 2012, can expect include; bars, casinos, dining facilities, and shore excursions priced for the AU dollar, no tipping, and some other tweaks and tune-ups in service to accommodate the Australian tastes.
The most compelling changes regarding the Carnival Spirit’s change in homeport are the itineraries that are now going to be offered. The Carnival Spirit will voyage on 8 to 12 day cruises from Sydney to the South Pacific islands, as well as some special 13-night trips that will include the mind-blowingly beautiful New Zealand.
The Carnival Spirit isn’t the only major upgrade for the Australian cruise passengers. P&O Cruises has rapidly expanded in recent years, the Sun Princess and Dawn Princes of Princess Cruises have been focused on the South Pacific/Asia.
The Australian cruise market has seen some distinct growth in the last couple of seasons and the next two years should continue this trend. Including the Carnival Spirit, Carnival Cruise Lines will have seven ships in the region. Princess Cruises’ Sun Princess and Dawn Princess and the P&O fleet will provide a wide base of ships from which Australians can choose. In addition, Royal Caribbean has stated they will send another ship to the region in 2011-12 and the Celebrity Century will once again sail the South Pacific at the same time.
Despite the expectation the local Australian travellers will support a ship the size of the Carnival Spirit, there is the hope that this transfer of ships will also attract North Americans to the South Pacific and Australia.
While we are sad to see so many ships leaving the West Coast of the United States, we are excited to see how Australia grows as a burgeoning hub of the cruise industry.
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