Our cruise ship lawyers have seen many incidents happen at sea over the years, from vessel collisions to illnesses, but one cruise line has had a pretty tough year, filled with accidents and mishaps. Carnival Cruise Line admitted 2012 was the worst year in the company’s history, revealing falling profits at the end of the year. As the new year approaches, the company is glad to put 2012 behind it, but it’s going to be hard to overlook the recurring Norovirus outbreaks, and most significantly, the tragic capsizing of the Carnival Corp. owned Costa Concordia.
Carnival’s chairman and chief executive, Micky Arison, acknowledged that the Costa Concordia tragedy last January, which killed 32 passengers, made the 2012 cruise year “the most challenging in our company’s history.” The Concordia capsized off the coast of Italy on January 13 after the vessel’s captain decided to perform a maneuver called a “Salute,” which brought the ship too close to shore, ultimately crashing into some rocks. Aside from being accused of abandoning ship, the captain, Francesco Schettino, is under investigation for manslaughter charges. Along with Schettino, several other crewmembers are also under scrutiny for their role in the tragic maritime accident. The negative press from this incident alone has been enough to deter many cruise goers from vacationing with Carnival Corp. fleet ships. However, Arison insisted the company was “well positioned for a recovery in 2013.” Still, not everyone is as optimistic.
In retrospect, booking volumes stayed the same for the “Fun Ship” company, but revenue has dwindled. Carnival explained that one of the reasons for this discrepancy consists of ticket prices being lower than in previous years. The cruise line contends booking volumes are still consistent, but even aside from the Costa accident, the economy has taken a toll on its earnings.
According to Arison, Carnival will recover from this rough patch, and is hopeful the holiday season will attract cruise goers, noting that cruise travel is a “superior value” alternative to land-based vacations. Indeed, Carnival has always boasted low prices compared to other industry leaders like Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, but it is evident the line has yet to fully recover from the Costa Concordia capsizing tragedy.
Still, Carnival fans have always been loyal to the Fun Ship, and with new innovations in the works, the line might begin raising prices to offset the fallback experienced this year. The company has announced an order for two new ships, a 2,660-passenger cruiser for the Holland America Line, to be delivered in 2015, and a 4,000-capacity vessel for Carnival Cruise Lines, which is due in 2016. The new ships are allegedly the largest to ever be built for the cruise brands. In addition, two new cruise ships will come into service next year, which will help Carnival increase its revenue and appeal.
Photo Credit: ticketmomma.com