Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) remains committed to “making cruising accessible for everyone” as it continues to make strides in the Australian market.
Speaking to media in Sydney yesterday, chief executive Christine Duffy stressed that the brand is firmly focused on the on board experience as well as the features of its ships.
“The belief that everyone deserves to take a great vacation resonates just as much now as it did when Carnival was first founded,” she explained.
“Other brands may be more about the ships and hardware, but with Carnival it’s more about the interactions.”
The idea of “participatory fun” is a major part of the cruise line’s identity, with Duffy describing it as the “secret ingredient”.
“We put a lot of new innovations onboard that we think our guests will love but it’s more about how our guests feel on a vacation,” she said.
Its offer of “great value” is one of its main selling points and, as a result, its clientele is one of the more diverse in the industry, according to Duffy, who pointed to the high number of families and children that sail with it – “more than any other cruise line”.
Meanwhile, the homeporting of Carnival Legend in Sydney alongside Carnival Spirit has significantly boosted the cruise line’s local capacity.
And while CCL vice president and general manager Australia Jennifer Vandekreeke said there were no plans to bring another vessel Down Under, Brisbane remains of interest.
“Hypothetically if could get into Brisbane, then we’d be highly interested in doing so,” she admitted. Although she stressed that a high level discussion would need to take place at Carnival Australia, with a number of other brands also interested in the port.
Authorities are currently considering a proposal for a new $100 million cruise terminal at the mouth of Brisbane River.
In the meantime, Aussie cruisers keen to try something a little different are now being encouraged to try one of CCL’s international itineraries.
Since January 1, travel agents have had a central sales team, phone number and website for all of the cruise line’s local and international cruise queries and bookings as the cruise line ended its arrangement with international general sales agent Travel the World.
Although Vandekreeke stressed it was still early days, she revealed international bookings are already above the same time last year.
Over on the social media front, CCL yesterday launched a new Facebook group called the Carnival Fun Zone which is exclusively for travel agents in Australia and New Zealand.