What’s behind the Carnival sale?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Carnival Cruise Lines own many of the brands we would instantly recognise; Cunard, P&O, Princess, Holland-America and Carnival itself. The 40% sale which it is running until the end of this month suggests it has taken a leaf out of the furniture supply retailers who regularly offer massive discounts to sell their wares.
So why is Carnival doing it?
The first reason is that four different ships have had technical problems in the last month alone. Since Christmas there have been a number of problems on its vessels and of course, one of its other brands is Costa Cruises – the owners of the ill-fated Costa Concordia which hit rocks off Italy last year and which still appears in the headlines as the court case against its captain continues.But this is the largest cruise company in the world controlling a fifth of all the cruises that are available. With such a share you would expect there to be the odd problem from time-to-time. But it seems there might have been one too many. Bookings have dropped at a time when the rest of the cruise industry has been experiencing year-on-year growth.
This, then, is an attempt to woo passengers back to its ships. But a 40% discount? This sounds too good to be true. It either sounds like passengers are booking in larger numbers with other cruise lines than many had thought or Carnival had been overpricing its cruises in the first place.
If it can cut 40% and still make a profit have we passengers been hoodwinked in the past?

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