Categorized | Cruises

With bookings down, cruise lines begin touting sales…

Posted on 01 February 2012


The 2,670-passenger Sapphire Princess, one of 17 ships in the Princess fleet in 2011.

Just how much could cruise fares decline in the wake of the Costa Concordia disaster? Cruise fans got a glimpse today as Princess Cruises announced a promotion for summer voyages in Europe and Alaska.


Princess’ new “Sizzlin’ Summer Sale” is similar to a promotion the line was running before the Jan. 13 accident but will continue through the end of February — a month later than before.


Princess said the new sale brings savings of up to $1,400 per couple as compared to initial fares for the trips; the earlier sale brought savings of up to $1,000 per couple, the line had said. But unlike the earlier sale, the new sale doesn’t include a balcony upgrade, and at first glance some cruise industry watchers weren’t all that impressed.


“It’s nice to see fresh offers being made to entice new bookings,” says Stewart Chiron of But the prices being offered by Princess and other lines still “are not very aggressive. Prices as a whole to Europe are higher than last year and (promotions) lack upgrades.”


Industry giant Carnival Corp., the parent company of Princess as well as Carnival, Costa and more than half a dozen other lines, said on Monday in a regulatory filing that booking volume across its brands had dropped in the “mid-teens,” percentage-wise, in the 12 days after the Costa Concordia accident.


The decline came as the company suspended advertising campaigns at the brands — campaigns they are now restarting.


Among other lines launching new promotions this week is Cunard, which today unveiled a three-day offer on upcoming trans-Atlantic sailings that includes up to $300 in shipboard credits, and Oceania Cruises, which on Monday began offering reduced prices for business class flights to select summer cruises. In addition, Royal Caribbean today began offering 10,000 free flights to customers in the UK who book select upcoming sailings in Europe.


Examples of Princess’ sale fares include:

— 12-night Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruises starting at $1,690 per person.

— 11-night Scandinavia and Russia cruises starting at $1,740 per person.

— Seven-night Alaska “Voyage of the Glaciers” cruises starting at $799 per person.

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