17 March 2006

Is it the end of the [cruise] line for Swan Hellenic?

It certainly looks like it; their only ship ignominiously snatched away from them by a determined parent and handed over to their big sister, Princess Cruises, on the grounds that it will be used more efficiently. (Background info)

David Dingle, MD of Carnival UK, says he doesn't want to see the end of the Swan Hellenic (and I'm sure he doesn't) but his support for the brand has been pretty lukewarm - 'we might charter another ship to operate Swan Hellenic cruises or we might sell it. The worst case scenario is that the brand gets parked for a while'.

Cruise lines are used to planning way into the future. They have to. Management teams work on port bookings and cruise itineraries 18 - 36 months in advance, particularly for complicated ones like world cruises. Yet Carnival is unable to say what will happen when Swan Hellenic's existing schedule ends just 12 months away in April 2007?

Apparently the announcement was made now because they couldn't wait any longer if Minerva II was to be included in the promotions and brochures for Princess Cruises 2007 season...but that same timescale doesn't apply to Swan Hellenic brochures?

It doesn't look good.

I fear this is an application for Duck Theory - if it looks like a duck, floats like a duck and quacks like a duck... it's a duck.

In Swan Hellenic's case it looks to me like a dead duck.

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