This Week in Cruise: Carnival Corp.'s Restructuring, Scenic Eclipse II Insight

More new ships have joined the global cruise industry fleet. In Malaga, Spain, Scenic Group celebrated the christening of the new 228-passenger, Scenic Eclipse II. Luxury Travel Advisor, our sister publication, provided an on-site look at No. 712, a Deluxe Veranda Suite, plus a snapshot of several new or enhanced spaces on this second Discovery Yacht

Another new ship, MSC CruisesMSC Euribia, which can carry 6,000-plus guests, is operating the cruise industry’s first voyage with net zero greenhouse gas emissions this week; that ship is powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas). Also on the sustainability front, Havila aims for emission-free coastal cruising by 2030.

Major Restructuring

The world’s largest cruise company, Carnival Corporation, recently streamlined its corporate structure. That was outlined in an internal memo and confirmed to Travel Agent this past week by a Carnival spokeswoman.

Bottom line? More brand executives will report directly to CEO Josh Weinstein. Plus, several executives have new or additional responsibilities. "We are now realigning around a new structure that removes layers between corporate and our brands,” Weinstein told employees in that internal memo. So, effective immediately, there will be six separate operating units all reporting to Weinstein. Here’s the list:

  • Carnival Cruise Line: Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president, will continue to lead the brand; now, the presidents of Carnival Australia and P&O Australia also will report to her
  • Princess Cruises will continue to be led by John Padgett, president, Princess Cruises
  • Holland America Line, will continue to be headed by Gus Antorcha, president, Holland America Line; now, Natalya Leahy, president, Seabourn Cruises, also will report to Antorcha
  • Costa Cruises will continue to be led by Mario Zanetti, president, Costa Cruises
  • Carnival UK, comprised of P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard, will continue to be led by Paul Ludlow, president of Carnival UK and P&O Cruises (UK); in addition, the new president of Cunard Line, Katie McAlister, will report to Ludlow
  • AIDA will continue to be headed by Felix Eichhorn, president, AIDA.

One corporate level/structure going away is that of Holland America Group, previously headed by Jan Swartz. Instead, Antorcha and Padgett will report directly to Weinstein.

In turn, Swartz has been appointed to a new Carnival Corporation role as EVP Strategic Operations. She’ll continue to oversee Alaska land operations, plus assume responsibility for these the following: strategy; global ports and destination development; communications; and government affairs.

Norwegian Epic Redeployed

In an email to travel advisors and booked guests, Norwegian Cruise Line said it has canceled the European winter 2023-24 season for Norwegian Epic. Eleven voyages from December 1, 2023 through and including April 9, 2024, have been impacted. Instead, Norwegian is redeploying the ship to Port Canaveral, FL. A spokesperson for Norwegian said this is "due to the growing demand for Caribbean sailings this winter." The ship will offer a mix of the line's seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries beginning December 17, 2023. 

According to the spokesperson, "all guests booked on these sailings will receive an automatic full refund returned to the form of payment provided at the time of reservation as well as a bonus Future Cruise Certificate valid for a future cruise. We understand the inconvenience and frustration this disruption may cause, and we appreciate the understanding of our loyal guests and travel agent partners."
Additional information on Norwegian Epic’s new voyages from Port Canaveral will be shared as it becomes available.

Lengthy Voyages

Cruise lines continue to introduce new long voyages. Silversea Cruises will offer a 140-day World Cruise on Silver Dawn from Port Everglades (Greater Fort Lauderdale), FL, on January 6, 2026. Sales open to the line’s Venetian Society members on June 14 with general sales opening June 22. 

American Cruise Lines introduced a new 35-day “Epic Civil War Battlefields” itinerary that touches 13 states and nearly every major 1860s battlefield in the U.S. Civil War. Departing May 4, 2024, from New Orleans, LA, the lengthy itinerary, which includes voyages on multiple U.S. rivers and land stays, concludes June 6, 2024, in Gettysburg, PA.

In 2024-2025, Holland America Line's Koningsdam and Zaandam each will offer a longer “Legendary Voyage” to the South Pacific and Hawaii. "Legendary Voyages" typically are 25 to 59 days, most sailing roundtrip or to/from a North American homeport. 

Viking has announced three new summer season Arctic expedition voyages, debuting in July 2025. Ranging from 13 to 27 days, they’ll explore Canada's and Greenland's polar areas with two of the three voyages visiting the Canadian High Arctic.

More Cruise News

Carnival Cruise Line launched an event and competition series for travel advisors. Travel Agent spoke to Adolfo Perez about this new program that uses U.S. Small Business Administration experts and a "Shark Tank" commentator to assist advisors in creating and updating their business plans.

Highly anticipated for late 2023/early 2024 is the debut of Royal Caribbean International's Icon of the Seas. This past week the line revealed more about the new dining options aboard.

The new Explora Journeys introduced its inaugural winter 2023-2024 Caribbean season and new European sailings. In addition, Atlas Ocean Voyages has launched a new guest loyalty program

Oceania Cruises’ Chef Alexis Quaretti, chief culinary director, has been inducted into the prestigious Maîtres Cuisiniers de France. And on the cruise selling front, Dream Vacations and CruiseOne reported record-breaking group sales.

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