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Prices in Alaska and the Caribbean drastically reduced

Cruise ship capacity in Alaska and the Caribbean is leading to price reductions of up to 21% as major shipping companies struggle with overcapacity – especially on older ships.

While Royal Caribbean Icon of the seas While the line's other ships charge high prices, the line's other ships, as well as those of Carnival and Norwegian, lower their summer prices to boost bookings, resulting in a flood of discounts at the height of the season.

Royal Caribbean's prices for an eight-day Caribbean cruise with a visit to the private island Perfect Day range from $1,877 to $2,405. RCI offers $600 off Alaskan cruises and up to 60% off for the second guest with children, who sail for $59.

Due to geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea and because shipping companies could make more money there, more ships moved to the two top sailing areas. Shipping companies worked hard to direct traffic to some of the largest ships in the world and to their private islands.

Demand is higher than before the pandemic – but capacity is huge. Now they have to offer deep discounts. Royal Caribbean's seven-day June voyages to the Caribbean and Bermuda are down 21% from last year, and Norwegian and Carnival have also cut prices by 12% and 11%, respectively.

As a result, data from measurement company AAA shows that cruises from the US are cheaper than last year. The 8% increase in the number of ships heading to the Caribbean compared to last year indicates a potential market plateau.

Prices reduced in the Caribbean and Alaska

Princes shortened
Icon of the seas

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas is unlikely to change in the near future, which is why most cruise companies are avoiding routes to the Red Sea, which is affecting supply and demand in other regions.

Cruise passenger has been reporting for weeks that Australia is losing a large part of its fleet due to shipping problems, for example in the Red Sea, and higher prices elsewhere.

In Alaska, the number of ships increased by 9.3% compared to the previous year, resulting in significantly lower prices than last year.

Royal Caribbean dramatically reduced prices on Caribbean trips in the third and fourth quarters, said Todd Elliott, CEO of Orlando, Florida-based travel agency Cruise Vacation Outlet.

“It seems to be more strategic on cruises that need a little more help,” Elliott said in a Reuters report. He said cruises around Africa rather than through the Red Sea would also be downgraded.

Royal Caribbean, Carnival Corp and Norwegian declined requests for comment.

A AAA spokesman said cruise lines have drastically reduced prices on older ships as newer ships come onto the market.

According to Christian Savelli, cruise analysis director at Oxford Economics, there will be around 202 ships sailing in the Caribbean in 2024, an 8% increase from last year. “New ships are overrepresented in the region,” Savelli said. “Rates seem to have reached a plateau.”

Due to increased capacity, cruise prices in Alaska are also falling this summer.

Inside cabins aboard Carnival's summer Alaska cruises are selling for about 20% less in July and August than they will during the same period in 2023, Cruise Critic said, while Royal Caribbean's Alaska voyages are 6% and 12% cheaper during the same period in those months, respectively.

According to Savelli, the number of ships in the region increased by 9.3 percent compared to the previous year.

Private islands owned by cruise lines are a major draw in the Caribbean and have existed in one form or another since 1977, when Norwegian Cruise Line treated its guests to a trip to Great Stirrup Cay after purchasing part of the island from the Bahamian government.

A private island gives cruise companies the opportunity to promote their brand worldwide and ensure that their values ​​and identity are felt both at sea and on land.

Take Royal Caribbean, for example. Known for family-friendly fun on its ships, its private island CocoCay is no exception: it offers hot air balloon rides, an incredible water park, and adventure around every corner.

Anna Harden

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