This Week in Cruise Recovery: Ships Return, Industry Vet to MSC

The cruise industry's recovery is in full swing as Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member lines gear up to return 95 percent of all ships to service by July 2022. Not to mention: New ships are launching, too. 

A new, first expedition vessel for American Queen Voyagesthe 186-passenger Ocean Victory sailed from Vancouver to Alaska on Sunday, signaling the start of its Alaska summer season. In addition, Small-ship line, Pearl Seas Cruises has returned its 210-passenger Pearl Mist to New England, coastal Maine, the Canadian Maritimes, St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes.

On the big ship side, three more Princess Cruises ships—Crown Princess, Island Princess and Royal Princesshave returned to service. Just this morning, Norwegian Cruise Line also announced that its full, 17-ship fleet is back in service including Norwegian Spirit in French Polynesia. Further, showing that that more of the world is opening up again for cruise travel, Holland America Line added new cruises for Westerdam in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia between September 25, 2022, through March 13, 2023.

In other news, Royal Caribbean International’s new Wonder of the Seas, its newest Oasis-class ship, began cruising from Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday.

Torrent Returns

On the personnel front, the big news of the week was the return of a veteran cruise executive. Lynn Torrent was named executive vice president and chief commercial officer at MSC Cruises USA. She formerly led Costa Cruise Lines in the U.S. and served in several senior executive roles at Carnival Cruise Lines. Most recently, Torrent was division president at Apple Leisure Group. Current EVP and COO Ken Muskat will depart the line for other opportunities—remaining through the end of August to support the transition. 

Supply chain issues continue to have impact on the industry, particularly for new ship start-ups. Norwegian Cruise Line—citing such issues—canceled the August 17, 2022, inaugural cruise of its new Norwegian Prima from Amsterdam. “At this time there are no further changes to her inaugural season,” a Norwegian spokesperson told Travel Agent. The line apologized for the inconvenience, giving booked guests a full refund and a 25 percent cruise credit if they rebook by December 23, 2022 for any departure up through May 2, 2023.

Reflecting its strong focus on the trade, the new Explora Journeys, MSC Group’s new luxury cruise brand, joined the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA).

Last week, Travel Agent also published a roundup of news tidbits from Seatrade, the annual cruise industry conference in Miami Beach, FL. Stay tuned today for our one-on-one interview of Janet Bava, senior vice president, AmaWaterways.

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