Is it time for Sale of the Century?

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Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain reacted in horror when I suggested to him at the weekend that it might almost be time for the 16-year-old cruise ship Celebrity Century to leave the fleet.
Celebrity president Dan Hanrahan assured me that he was looking at itineraries for 2012 and 2013 which included the 1,750-passenger ship and his boss, who took a while to grasp the significance of my question: “When can I write the headline ‘Sale of the Century’?” also said the company was staying loyal to the veteran vessel.
But I’m still not convinced, especially after reading that Fain is looking forward to rapid expansion at the company’s German off-shoot, TUI Cruises.
He told Seatrade Insider: “TUI Cruises has been remarkably successful as a start-up. That’s a worthy business to continue to build on a fairly rapid basis.”
TUI currently operates two ships. Mein Schiff is the former Celebrity Galaxy, and Mein Schiff 2 was formerly Celebrity Mercury. Can you see a pattern emerging here?
Fain said there had been rapid growth in the German cruise market in the past few years, and paid tribute to AIDA, the German branch of the rival Carnival Corporation. “We tried [to sell in Germany] for a number of years without a lot of success. AIDA opened everyone’s eyes. They truly opened the market and made cruising pipular as a vacation for all Germans.”
So what’s the betting on Century becoming Mein Schiff 3? And soon.

By | 2011-07-27T22:05:30+00:00 27 July 2011|Cruise News, Cruise Ships|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Franz Neumeier 28 July 2011 at 6:05 am - Reply

    John,
    the CEO of TUI Cruises has repeatedly stated that he wants a newbuilt for “Mein Schiff 3”. To some respect this makes sense as especially competitor AIDA is launching a new ship every year. Also the German market is somewhat special, as most markets are, and a tailormade ship for this market would make more sense than adding another modified US ship.
    On the other hand, TUI Cruises hasn’t ordered that new ship yet, so my guess is that they’ll need the third vessel earlier than they can build a new one. So I agree: The Celebrity Century seams to be a strong candidate for Mein Schiff 3 …
    Franz

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