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Bertie Doe

Cruise ship-build overcapacity yet? good news or bad?

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I don't know if an earlier screenshot from marinetraffic's live map will show below but it viewed the area from Puerto Rico to St. Lucia. There were no fewer than 20 major passenger ships, from Vision of the seas in the North, down to Britannia in the Southeast. The recent takeover of a couple of struggling airline, cruise and hotel companies, may indicate a hiccup in the economy or maybe a symptom or poor managements. You can't plan too far ahead for market fluctuations but a number of major players have cruise ships being built or about to be launched. Some of these beasts cost half billion dollars to build.

 

IF there is overcapacity, is this a benefit for the buying public? If price slashing doesn't work, could this lead to big cuts in standards i.e. food, entertainment, itineraries etc,. Would cruise companies be prepared to sail at half capacity with huge reductions in crew levels? Have we reached overproduction and what's the cruise company options? Thoughts anybody. Regards Paul.

 

Edited by MrSilversurf
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5 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

Wow, I suppose the market is getting saturated in some locations.

 

Yep, you could be right Mic. Reading thru' Roll Calls, some folk are happy to re-visit the Islands at regular intervals. Perhaps using the Caribbean isn't the best yardstick 🙂. Over here, there's a huge increase in cruise holiday adverts on tv and radio, with big % discounts and perks. This seems to be a new trend for 2020.

Also if you do a 'dummy run' with the popular (cheaper) online booking app's, nowadays you'll find it rare, for balconies to be sold out - even with one month to go before sailing ? Regards Paul.

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I have been an NCL cruiser. Recently had a look at their new ships coming on line in next few years. Assuming NCL are not unique there is a tremendous increase in capacity coming. Now we have the added factors of the Chinese market being knocked right back and the general concern over Covid-19 causing cancellations and re scheduling. The industry is going to take a huge knock financially, and I fear most of these new ships are being built with credit/commercial debt. The interest on these loans has to be met. The big companies will be competing for a share of a much smaller market for a few years at a guess.

I would imagine it will be the smaller companies that suffer worst. I feel the cruising public will not accept too much lowering of standards, whilst the operators will be cutting prices to try to fill cabins. I can see some of the new "Mega ships" being mothballed or severly postponed

Where does all this lead us........no idea, but reckon late booking will be the way to go!

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3 hours ago, Cee_Jay said:

I have been an NCL cruiser. Recently had a look at their new ships coming on line in next few years. Assuming NCL are not unique there is a tremendous increase in capacity coming. Now we have the added factors of the Chinese market being knocked right back and the general concern over Covid-19 causing cancellations and re scheduling. The industry is going to take a huge knock financially, and I fear most of these new ships are being built with credit/commercial debt. The interest on these loans has to be met. The big companies will be competing for a share of a much smaller market for a few years at a guess.

I would imagine it will be the smaller companies that suffer worst. I feel the cruising public will not accept too much lowering of standards, whilst the operators will be cutting prices to try to fill cabins. I can see some of the new "Mega ships" being mothballed or severly postponed

Where does all this lead us........no idea, but reckon late booking will be the way to go!

You may well be right for regular cruise runs but if the itinerary is a one off (per year) or something like that then booking early is still the go.

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13 hours ago, Cee_Jay said:

I have been an NCL cruiser. Recently had a look at their new ships coming on line in next few years. Assuming NCL are not unique there is a tremendous increase in capacity coming. Now we have the added factors of the Chinese market being knocked right back and the general concern over Covid-19 causing cancellations and re scheduling. The industry is going to take a huge knock financially, and I fear most of these new ships are being built with credit/commercial debt. The interest on these loans has to be met. The big companies will be competing for a share of a much smaller market for a few years at a guess.

I would imagine it will be the smaller companies that suffer worst. I feel the cruising public will not accept too much lowering of standards, whilst the operators will be cutting prices to try to fill cabins. I can see some of the new "Mega ships" being mothballed or severly postponed

Where does all this lead us........no idea, but reckon late booking will be the way to go!

 

Yes I agree not only an increase in shipbuilding but some of these can accommodate 5000 passengers. As you say, the Corvid 19 virus will impact on bookings. It will also effect air travel, with the air circulation on both aircraft and ships coming under intense scrutiny.

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10 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

You may well be right for regular cruise runs but if the itinerary is a one off (per year) or something like that then booking early is still the go.

 

Yes booking early for say, a relocation cruise is a must, provided you have 3 weeks to spare 🙂  We did a Costa trip from the Med to Brazil in Nov/Dec 2019. We booked so early, that the TA was able to organise flights (Easyjet and Norwegian) plus a night in a hotel at Marseilles and Rio.

Closer to the sail date 'cruise only' was available and a quick look at the flight search engines, showed that flights (long-haul in particular) was hellish expensive.  Paul

 

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5 hours ago, MrSilversurf said:

 

Yes booking early for say, a relocation cruise is a must, provided you have 3 weeks to spare 🙂  We did a Costa trip from the Med to Brazil in Nov/Dec 2019. We booked so early, that the TA was able to organise flights (Easyjet and Norwegian) plus a night in a hotel at Marseilles and Rio.

Closer to the sail date 'cruise only' was available and a quick look at the flight search engines, showed that flights (long-haul in particular) was hellish expensive.  Paul

 

Exactly, another reason to book early if there are other travel plans involved.

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Re-awakening this post I rather think the situatin has changed and YES....major over capacity. Going to see some new builds cancelled and and maybe a bankruptcy or two

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On 3/8/2020 at 8:46 PM, Cee_Jay said:

Re-awakening this post I rather think the situatin has changed and YES....major over capacity. Going to see some new builds cancelled and and maybe a bankruptcy or two

Not sure about Cruise lines going bankrupt but some TAs may and yes, some new builds may be put off for a while.

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On 3/8/2020 at 9:46 AM, Cee_Jay said:

Re-awakening this post I rather think the situation has changed and YES....major over capacity. Going to see some new builds cancelled and and maybe a bankruptcy or two

 

Yep, your March post was very prophetic CJ. Cruise and Maritime has gone and it's not just the smaller companies that are struggling. The following article confirms your point about lots of new-builds on hold. Whilst the pandemic rages, it casts doubts on the validity of using older ships with limited balcony numbers.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKa_gkJE3UY&pp=wgIECgIIAQ%3D%3D&feature=push-fr&attr_tag=qn3Yjfbtx0XGtOCq%3A6

 

Hindsight's a wonderful thing. If the travel industry and governments had injected more money into a vaccine, way back in March, world economies would be much healthier. Sadly, it now looks like everyone is cash-strapped and I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel.

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