Royal Caribbean managing director for the UK & Ireland, Stuart Leven, spoke at Barclays Travel Forum in London and mentioned that cruise prices could rise as the economy recovers.
Leven said high levels of discounting in the sector had been necessary due to the economic climate of the last few years. Leven believes that the discounting strategy could change in conjunction with a recovering economy and cruise brands looking to seperate themselves from the competition.
“My observation is it is very hard to differentiate between the brands,” Leven said.
“[During the recession], we fell back on the deals that you have to get to fill your ships and that led to price [wars].
“The market is coming out of recession and the more you differ your brand as a brand, then you can charge a premium, and the cruise companies are looking at that now.”
In Southampton, Royal Caribbean's move to bring the brand new Anthem of the Seas has sparked a renewed competition among cruise lines to the UK cruise market. With new ships trying to dominate the market, perhaps premium pricing for these ships will be part of the equation.