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HAL reducing long exotic voyages


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Kind of confusing article, he says less but still doing longer itineraries. My fear would be is they become just another line offering the same old itineraries as everyone else. For us, this will be the final nail in the HAL coffin ⚰️.

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Interesting to get Mr Anchorta's viewpoint on the future fleet deployments, and it's not surprising.  I was glad to hear him say that they are closely examining which itineraries are most important to their consumer base, match it with historical demand, and make decisions going forward from those starting points.  His approach sounds rational, balanced and consumer focused while still attempting to keep HAL financially viable.

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7 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

I was glad to hear him say that they are closely examining which itineraries are most important to their consumer base, match it with historical demand, and make decisions going forward from those starting points

 

What might those itineraries be?  I will suggest some.

 

The Grand World Cruise

Voyage of the Vikings'

The Grand South America Cruise

Viking Passage type itineraries, i.e Boston/New York to/from Northern Europe as in re-positioning cruises

Complete transits from Florida to California and return of the Panama Canal

Caribbean cruises that exceed the "usual" 7-10-11 day itineraries:  14-21 days with overnights in some ports and sailing a wider geographic area, including Bermuda, than has been done.

 

Other thoughts?

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One thing that is pretty clear any long cruises will be done by existing ships and they will not be adding any small ships to replace those that left.

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4 minutes ago, nocl said:

One thing that is pretty clear any long cruises will be done by existing ships and they will not be adding any small ships to replace those that left.

 

I think you are correct.  By doing so, some of the small unique ports once visited by the Prinsendam will no longer be accessible.  That may alienate a segment of HAL's previously loyal guests.

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I think the Grand World remains and continues on either Zaandam or Volendam annually.  I could see the Grand South America going into rotation along with Grand Asia, Grand Africa, Grand Med etc and not happening annually.  I could also see some itineraries offered less often - IE 30+ day Hawaii/Tahiti only once a year rather than 2-3 times a year.  I think Voyage of the Vikings stays.  The Amazon River Itinerary r/t FLL may only be offered in years where there is no Grand South America and so on 

 

Some itineraries I think go away completely - Incan Empires sailing r/t San Diego, 14 Day Alaska, 14 day Circle Caribbean, all sailings from Tampa, reduction of Canada/NE Summer sailings to 1 ship rather than 2, Bermuda, etc.

 

Some regions I see getting downsized with fewer vessels - 10/11 day Caribbean Sunfarer/Seafarer/Wayfarer could be consolidated on one vessel with the 10 days being the Southern Caribbean and the 11 days being the partial canal transits.  I could also see HAL reducing to just one 7 day Caribbean ship each winter rather than 2.  Sea of Cortez sailings seem likely to get cut or only happen every few years.  R/T Vancouver 7nt inside passage sailings could go from 2 ship to 1 ship and maybe pair some of the Yukon/Denali Cruisetours on the 2 N/S vessels as well as on the one remaining ship doing roundtrip.

 

Lots of "what if's" and I think it will be 12-15 months before all the dust really settles around future fleet deployment strategies

 

HAL will be at 11 ships once Rotterdam delivers next summer - so really only a 3 ship net loss to the fleet, which is still significant. 

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3 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I think you are correct.  By doing so, some of the small unique ports once visited by the Prinsendam will no longer be accessible.  That may alienate a segment of HAL's previously loyal guests.

 

There are even some ports that were accessible to Statendam class ships that the Rotterdam class cannot do - Hamilton and St George in Bermuda for example.

 

HAL has to stop catering to and focusing on their 70+ year old clientele when it comes to fleet deployments, and instead continue working to fill the ships mainly with guests between 5-70.  That's just reality and a natural evolution of their business going forward.

 

For those that still want unique/smaller ports that a 70K tonne vessel cannot visit, I think Carnival Corp is happy to try and move them to Seabourn or lose them to non CCL brands like Viking, Azamara and Oceania via attrition.  I know that's an unpopular opinon, but the writing has been on the wall well before either Mr Ashford or Mr Antorcha came into the picture.

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42 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

What might those itineraries be?  I will suggest some.

 

The Grand World Cruise

Voyage of the Vikings'

The Grand South America Cruise

Viking Passage type itineraries, i.e Boston/New York to/from Northern Europe as in re-positioning cruises

Complete transits from Florida to California and return of the Panama Canal

Caribbean cruises that exceed the "usual" 7-10-11 day itineraries:  14-21 days with overnights in some ports and sailing a wider geographic area, including Bermuda, than has been done.

 

Other thoughts?

I hope they keep some long Alaska cruises at least the 14 day or better yet the 21 day they had in 2019. We go to Alaska every other year but I can't see just doing the 7 day standard cruises there. I was really looking forward to the Zodiac tours the Maasdam was going to do there but I'm sure those won't happen now. 

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25 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

R/T Vancouver 7nt inside passage sailings could go from 2 ship to 1 ship and maybe pair some of the Yukon/Denali Cruisetours on the 2 N/S vessels as well as on the one remaining ship doing roundtrip.

 

Lots of "what if's" and I think it will be 12-15 months before all the dust really settles around future fleet deployment strategies

 

 

Perhaps you may have noticed I didn't mention anything about Alaska in my previous post.  What will they do?  With such a significant investment in the Alaskan tourist infrastructure, those hotels, tours, etc. need to have booked revenue in order to be viable.  

 

Personally, I think your 12-15 month time from before "all the dust really settles" may be optimistic.  And, when does that time frame begin?  Certainly not during 2020.  Hoped for in 2021--at some point.  But, what if not then?

 

  

 

  

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2 minutes ago, SharonN said:

I was really looking forward to the Zodiac tours the Maasdam was going to do there but I'm sure those won't happen now. 

 

Just my opinion, but this type of "adventure" cruise was a copycat idea of some "suit" in Seattle that was not really appropriate to either the Maasdam or for many of those who would consider booking a HAL cruise.  The itineraries and the plans really did sound great.  Because of Covid-19 and it's impact on HAL, we will never know what the future of those itineraries might have been.  However, with the advent of so many brand new "adventure ships" coming into the market, as far as I am concerned, it was another example of a poor decision by one or more "suits" in Seattle that wasted financial resources that are now sorely needed.  

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30 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

HAL has to stop catering to and focusing on their 70+ year old clientele when it comes to fleet deployments, and instead continue working to fill the ships mainly with guests between 5-70.  That's just reality and a natural evolution of their business going forward.

 

Sorry you feel that way. HAL should try to appeal to all ages; cruising is one of the few types of travel that seniors can enjoy: no packing/unpacking, doing as little or as much as you want (on or off the ship), food easily available, etc. We have cruised for many years and still find it enjoyable and easy (once you can get to the ship!).

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3 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Just my opinion, but this type of "adventure" cruise was a copycat idea of some "suit" in Seattle that was not really appropriate to either the Maasdam or for many of those who would consider booking a HAL cruise.  The itineraries and the plans really did sound great.  Because of Covid-19 and it's impact on HAL, we will never know what the future of those itineraries might have been.  However, with the advent of so many brand new "adventure ships" coming into the market, as far as I am concerned, it was another example of a poor decision by one or more "suits" in Seattle that wasted financial resources that are now sorely needed.  

We spent over 60s days on the Maasdam last year (South Pacific and Alaska) and loved the format and enjoyed the zodiacs in the South Pacific. And the 21 day Alaska was great with ports we'd never been to that were more like Alaska was in the 1980s when I first went. Glad we got a chance to enjoy it while it was there. 

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12 minutes ago, PSR said:

 

Sorry you feel that way. HAL should try to appeal to all ages; cruising is one of the few types of travel that seniors can enjoy: no packing/unpacking, doing as little or as much as you want (on or off the ship), food easily available, etc. We have cruised for many years and still find it enjoyable and easy (once you can get to the ship!).

 

It's not an age bias thing, it's just that with the remaining fleet consisting mostly of the larger vessels HAL has to focus more on a demographic that they can fill their ships with PROFITABLY.  The more seasoned the cruiser - both in terms of number of cruises, and in years, means less ancillary revenue per guest per day.  The data bears this out across ALL cruise lines not just HAL.  Younger cruisers, or those newer to cruise, are more likely to spend more on gambling, alcohol, specialty dining, spa treatments, photos, shore excursions, wifi, etc.  Going forward the ancillary revenues are going to be more important than ever to help shore up the bottom lines of all the cruise companies as they have amassed HUGE debt loads in the last few months to avoid liquidation.  Also the shorter the cruise duration the higher average spend per day on ancillary items across all age demographics.  No cruise line is going to refuse bookings solely on age, but I do see HAL being more  focused than ever on adjusting their target demographic to the 50-70 yo range, which falls in line with adjusting deployment strategies to offer fewer cruises of 14+ days and more in the 7-14 day range.

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57 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

 

There are even some ports that were accessible to Statendam class ships that the Rotterdam class cannot do - Hamilton and St George in Bermuda for example.

 

HAL has to stop catering to and focusing on their 70+ year old clientele when it comes to fleet deployments, and instead continue working to fill the ships mainly with guests between 5-70.  That's just reality and a natural evolution of their business going forward.

 

For those that still want unique/smaller ports that a 70K tonne vessel cannot visit, I think Carnival Corp is happy to try and move them to Seabourn or lose them to non CCL brands like Viking, Azamara and Oceania via attrition.  I know that's an unpopular opinon, but the writing has been on the wall well before either Mr Ashford or Mr Antorcha came into the picture.

 

 

We can colour it all we want but with the loss of the Prinsendam there were at least 200 ports of call lost.  She did go where the others couldn’t.  I was at a diner with an officer when he said 50 ports and I said more and he admitted 200.  Worth thinking about.

I am happy with my next itinerary (perhaps I am anxious to sail) but nothing matches anchoring right out of Bantry Bay, skipping a tendering at  Fuertentura, etc.  I have been to enough ports on this ship that were marked as “tender” where we docked.   The list is endless.  

As to Seabourn, I don’t need someone bringing me some champagne in the sea.  I’m not sure what we will do in the future. But for now, if things improve (and I pray they do), we will sail next year.

 

I’m sorry but I really think HAL is wrong.  They missed the boat no longer offering different itineraries.  Another company was happy to infest 40. Million euros in her IIRC.  Prinsendam was the most profitable ship in the fleet per person.  (Facts from officers). Her PG was often booked full up by the 2nd night (unless you wanted to dine at 9 pm).  Her Crow’s Nest was full with people getting drinks and the Adaggio was always packed.

 

In most cases, people paid a high premium to be on that ship.  A lot only sailed that ship and were 5* Mariners and gold, and platinum holders.  I find it hard to believe that if there are no options, that they are automatically going to go to Seabourn.  They are not.

They’ve sailed lots of other ships and they will weight them carefully.  

Let’s just agree to disagree 😉. I don’t think everyone is going to go to Seabourn.

 

I for one, think HAL has missed the boat on this one.  I suspect many of them will go to other lines and not Seabourn.  Not sure what we will do down the road but I will say the Zuiderdam did offer a bit of a different itinerary so HAL is trying.

 

I’m just glad we did the Prinsendam as much as we did.  My only regret was we waited so long 😞 
 

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@kazuI don't disagree with anything you have said.  I also think Carnival Corp knows that MANY passengers will take their business to other brands rather than sail Seabourn, and all evidence points to them being willing to accept that.

 

The decisions to sell ships, swap ships between brands, or build new ships are all made by the BOD and CEO of Carnival Corp and not solely by HAL management (though they do get a small amount of input).  HAL is nothing but a subsidiary brand and is FAR from autonomous.  If Carnival Corp felt there was a way to continue operating Prinsendam profitably, they would have done so.  At the time the decision was made to sell her they could have also transferred the P&O Adonia to HAL had they wanted to.  Instead they sold her to RCG for the Azamara brand.  I expect Pacific Princess only lasts a year or two more before Carnival Corp dispose of her.  They also had a chance to order new ships for Holland America , Princess, P&O, etc that would be of a size and scope to replace vessels like Prinsendam, Adonia/Pacific Princess, the Statendam Class, Rotterdam Class etc but they have chosen not too. 

 

While Prinsendam may have had a very high revenue per passenger the fact remains that newer larger vessels, on less exotic itineraries,  may generate less revenue per passenger aggregated as a whole but they are more profitable to the company overall due to size/passenger #s and operating costs.  Carnival Corp is looking at the hard bottom line and they have determined the future for them is bigger vessels with more butts in seats.  For those small ship devotees who choose to leave and go to other brands, rather than sail with Seabourn, they have evidently decided that the revenues from 5000+ passenger vessels like the Carnival Mardi Gras and Celebration, or even those from newbuilds for HAL like Konigsdam, Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam VII more than offset for the HAL loyalists who leave due to the sale of vessels like the Prinsendam, S-Class and R-Class vessels.

 

You or I may not like losing beloved smaller vessels that can go where the big ships cannot, and certainly the loss of them is great, but Carnival Corp cares less about our personal wishes and more about the bottom line and pleasing shareholders.  You and I as consumers also have a choice - adapt our travel habits to the "new" HAL, or sail on other lines.  I place itinerary, pricing and perks above brand when making my decision and usually compare HAL, Celebrity, Princess, Oceania, Azamara and Viking when doing my research.  For my travel budget and available vacation time right now HAL is getting the bulk of my business, for a long time before it was mostly Celebrity and Princess.   That may change as time goes on and I desire different things.

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72
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Loosing the Maasdam, Veendam, Rotterdam and Amsterdam this year and Prinsendam two years ago, was very sad for many of us.  Loosing the "exotic" itineraries is maybe even sadder.  We have had Australia and New Zealand on our bucket list as well as those small South Pacific and Asian ports.  Maasdam was our choice, but now it will have to be Oosterdam if we go and we know it can't access some of them. Let us hope there will be still be some itineraries for those of us that don't want to restrict cruising to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Alaska, and the big city ports of Europe.

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It comes down to profit.  Revenue is important but revenue without profit, or an acceptable level of profit is not.

 

These five ships were not the first off the block to be sold because they were the most profitable.  It was a straightforward business decision.  Other cruise lines that specialize in this market way be much better positioned to operate these ships at acceptable industry profit levels.

Edited by iancal
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58 minutes ago, St Pete Cruiser said:

Loosing the Maasdam, Veendam, Rotterdam and Amsterdam this year and Prinsendam two years ago, was very sad for many of us.  Loosing the "exotic" itineraries is maybe even sadder.  We have had Australia and New Zealand on our bucket list as well as those small South Pacific and Asian ports.  Maasdam was our choice, but now it will have to be Oosterdam if we go and we know it can't access some of them. Let us hope there will be still be some itineraries for those of us that don't want to restrict cruising to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Alaska, and the big city ports of Europe.

 

How about checking out the Oosterdam roll call for the March 31, 2022 sailing from Auckland to Seattle or the circumnavigation of Australia by the Oosterdam in the fall of 2021?  I am a "transferee" from the Oosterdam September 27, 2020 sailing from Seattle to Auckland and the Oosterdam March 28, 2021 sailing from Auckland to Seattle. 

 

I do have faith that I will be able to board the Oosterdam on March 31, 2022 in Auckland!

 

Be safe.....

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5 hours ago, KirkNC said:

Kind of confusing article, he says less but still doing longer itineraries. My fear would be is they become just another line offering the same old itineraries as everyone else. For us, this will be the final nail in the HAL coffin ⚰️.

I am with you..

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Seems pretty simple that longer voyages with the uncertain port situations just dont mix.  Nobody wants to book a long cruise not even knowing when or where they may stop.  This is going to take a long time to get back to that type of cruising.  In fact 20 plus day cruises are not even a priority right now to any of the lines.  They all just want to get the okay to even get back out on 3-7 day cruises to try to earn revenue and trust.

Edited by Nymich
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I am not too surprised. HAL is a mass market line and has been trending ever closer to her competitor lines in recent years with larger ships; now the shorter itineraries -- probably accelerated by COVID. What a shame. As I am not planning to retire for another few years, I see these interesting longer voyages slipping away. 

 

I have no huge loyalty to HAL. I am perfectly willing to shop elsewhere for the kind of ships and cruises I like -- and that includes brands like Fred. Olsen or more upscale lines with the even smaller ships that I really like and itineraries that focus on ports (e.g., Azamara).  

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The elimination of longer itineraries would make HAL just another mass market cruise line (its close to that even with longer itineraries).  The crew is a plus but we follow the itineraries and have zero interest in short cruises especially those to places we have been to numerous times already.  If this is the future, just combine HAL and Princess and be done with it.  I understand about revenue and profitability, I was a CFO at a bank in another life.  In order to make longer itineraries profitable, raise the price, provide a few more crew and amenities and everyone is happy. 

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1 hour ago, KirkNC said:

The elimination of longer itineraries would make HAL just another mass market cruise line (its close to that even with longer itineraries).  The crew is a plus but we follow the itineraries and have zero interest in short cruises especially those to places we have been to numerous times already.  If this is the future, just combine HAL and Princess and be done with it.  I understand about revenue and profitability, I was a CFO at a bank in another life.  In order to make longer itineraries profitable, raise the price, provide a few more crew and amenities and everyone is happy. 

 

Crossover status, maybe, but let's keep HAL and Princess separate products.  One can always book either line.  This is about the best we can hope for, with the downsizing of smaller ships.  If HAL markets themselves correctly, there's always future potential with larger ships and more exotics.  Viking Ocean, Azamara, and Windstar can fill in the gaps.

 

Edited by Stateroom_Sailor
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