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Carnival Cruise Line returned to Europe with Carnival Vista this year and is eager to sail in the region again. Hollie-Rae Merrick reports

Carnival Vista and (right) its SkyRide and Kaleid-O-Slide

Carnival plots to return to Europe after Vista success

Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed its intentions to offer Mediterranean cruises in 2018, following the success of new ship Carnival Vista’s inaugural season.

The line pulled out of Europe

in 2014, but returned when Vista launched earlier this month.

While no Carnival ship will sail

in Europe next year, the line has confirmed plans to return again in 2018 when it’s next new ship is due to launch. The final decision on deployment in 2018 is unlikely to be revealed before January and Carnival bosses were quick to highlight that a lot could change between now and then. Speaking at a press conference

on board Carnival Vista this week, the line’s president, Christine Duffy, said there had been strong demand for the reintroduction of the European season. She insisted the line hadn’t

seen a drop-off in bookings from Americans following the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. In recent weeks, competitors

such as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Cruises have both admitted their

“People have looked forward to a new ship and to us being back in Europe”

European sailings had been impacted by Americans not wanting to travel to Europe. “People have looked forward to

a new ship,” Duffy said. “But not only that, they’ve looked forward to us being back in Europe, which we will do again in 2018. What we have focused on is leaning into the legacy of what Carnival does best. “That’s our plan but it is still

a while away. At the moment we intend to return to Europe in 2018. “We were pleasantly surprised,

like a lot of the lines, because we had thought that after Brussels there would be a fall-off of Americans wanting to come to Europe but we haven’t seen that.” Adolfo Perez, vice-president of

sales and trade marketing, said that having only one ship in Europe meant the line wasn’t struggling to fill lots of capacity. “We were so far booked for Carnival Vista that we were extremely well placed,” Perez said. “Where other lines have a lot of capacity to fill in Europe, our limited capacity, and the fact that we hadn’t sailed here for a while, definitely helped.”

Perez: UK agents always deliver wherever we sail

Carnival Cruise Line has praised the trade for making the UK its number-two source market for European cruises, after the US. Sales and trade marketing

vice-president Adolfo Perez said agents “always stepped up to the plate to deliver wherever our ships sail”. The line said 20% of guests

on average on Carnival Vista sailings in Europe this year would be from the UK, up from 15% when the line last sailed in Europe in 2013. “The UK trade steps up every

time we have a ship in Europe – some of our sailings are 40%-50% filled by the British market, which is amazing.” He said the August 6 itinerary,

Vista’s only 12-day cruise, had been “a hit” with UK families. Carnival Vista will remain

in Europe until October when it will switch to Miami. Perez encouraged agents to “book, book, book” to ensure the line’s next new ship, due for delivery in 2018, sails in Europe.

19 May 2016 17

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