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HAL's PRINSENDAM is now 24 years old. These days that is quite old for a vessel in one of Carnival's main brands. In addition, she is quite an oddity in the fleet, being a lot smaller than HAL's other vessels. Therefore, I was wondering: -how is she doing in terms of bookings? -How much longer will HAL keep her? -And if she goes, will she be replaced by a newbuild or a second-hand vessel?
Of course, it's entirely possible that HAL will just put one of the STATENDAM-class vessels on PRINSENDAM's schedules. Personally, I think substituting her with an "R ship" would be a good choice in due course, as a newbuild of PRINSENDAM's size is probably not cost-effective in Carnival's eyes, I would think.
What are your thoughts on my above questions and musings?
With her recent refurb (cabins and new balconies), she has bought a few more years.
However, she won't last more then 5 years.
My big question, could HAL replace her with a brand within a brand, maybe the three new Seabourn ships could join the fleet. Personally, I would love that.
Both Fred. Olsen and Saga would be candidates to take the Prinsendam over if/when HAL lets go. The only shame is that they did not it before HAL butchered the stern with the last round of refits and plunged the aft dining room into darkness with the overhangs.
My money is still on PRINSENDAM being replaced in due course with an "R ship" transferred from Princess or P&O or bought from Oceania.
But, remember at one time, RV Sun was very upmarket as well.
And, from what I hear, Seabourn is not doing well, some of the worst numbers at Carnival. Last year, the company fell under the umbrella of HAL, if they cannot get things better, it might make sense to sell the original yachts, and get the new ships under HAL banner where they know they will sell full and at good per diems.
quote:Originally posted by avalon1025:I don't see Seabourn going to HAL (Remember when Cunard had a mismash of ships with sea goddess and RVL and the QE2, never works). I see the Seabourn triplets being off loaded and loads increasing across the newer ships. The Prinsendam is the most profitable ship in the HAL fleet, its not going anywhere for a few years.
Seabourn is like Mark Twain - reports of its death are an exaggeration. Its before reported several times before including a lot of people did not believe they would invest in the new class of ships. Clearly the effort has been to lower overhead with the move inside HAL but I am not sure how much more is planned any time soon for the brand. I suspect Carnival Corp. likes have an ultra-luxe brand around.
As for the Prinsendam I would have to see more proof to believe she is the most profitable in the fleet. She has/had a lower passenger capacity high space ratio and higher crew costs. She has been plagued with these issues since she was built. RVL added staff cabins on the stern to get some of the staff out of passenger cabins and now HAL has piled on more cabins on the stern. This was all done to raise her yield.
I have to wonder if the big HAL ships are not more profitable because they have more favorable passenger ratios, lower crew cost ratios, etc. and more efficient/modern designs. Eurodam is about the ultimate in that regard. The question would be can the Prinsendam command a sufficient premium on her per diems to off set her higher costs.
My bet is still that she ends up with a Saga or Fred. Olden or similar operation at some point.
I never said she was unprofitable but I am not sure she is the most profitable either in the HAL fleet.
I doubt she has been fully depreciated on the Corp. books so they have a value on her and they likely are not willing to write her off to the current value.
Her fixed costs are high and she has the lowest passenger to crew ratio in the HAL fleet. She runs at 1.7 to 1 passengers to crew if she is full. All the other ships in the HAL fleet are 2.2 to 2.3 to 1.
As a result she is commanding in theory the highest per diems in the fleet. She has a premium of anywhere between about 10% and 20% in the Mediterranean for example versus the fares on the Nieuw Amsterdam. (I don't have to hand the S class ships per diems in the Med for that comparison).
That translates to a per diem in 2012 on the Nieuw Amsterdam in the Med at around $235 to $250 per day while the Prinsendam on similar trips is show at $260 to $290 per day. For 2013 it is $265 for the Nieuw Amsterdam on her Aug 31 cruise vs. $322 on the Prinsendam's Sept 16th cruise. (All of this is theoretical comparisons because we don't know how many people are aboard, how many third and fourth berths get sold and how much discounting HAL ends up doing off the rates. Further HAL uses airplane style pricing regularly adjusting fares on each cabin and cruise based on demand algorithms.)
As I said I don't doubt she is profitable but I wonder what type of margins she generates versus the bigger, modern ships which will they have lower per diems have much greater operating efficiencies.
All that said I still would bet unless the Prinsendam has a major mechanical failure she will end up going to Saga or Fred. Olsen or maybe Phoenix. I know some of them have made inquires to HAL about her availability and I am sure any of them would be happy to have her.
By the by not that it means anything to this discussion I started with the RV Sun on her first eastbound trans-Atlantic when she was I guess four months old and sailed her for a few years. Six weeks after I left the RV Sun for the last time I sailed past her then being aboard Crystal Harmony. So I knew her fairly well and especially the quirks as she was built. Including I was aboard her twice when she blacked out at sea.
If I was Mr Arison id carefully study the exact pax composition vs. the operating profit and ask: is this ship cannabilising pax from the rest of HAL and Carnival Corp - or - are they a set of customers unique to the ship?
thats what i do if i was mr. arisson.
She is a popular ship as we know and also by the per diem studies we have seen in this thread.
What are the odds that they could come up with a "new" one off design that would be profitable to build and run, in today's economy?
Just like the QM2 is a one off ship, her sisters are very different, QE, QV and such.
Could carnival/HAL replace Prisendam with an equal or a better? Niche ships are few and far between and some niche models aren't doing as well as they should which speaks to a desire to build a ship that would fill the gap in a retiring or ship moving on to Fred Olsen or Saga?
As long as Prinsendam is profitable and can be filled on her sailings it is well to keep her where she is until she lives out her usefulness in the role she was built for.
Carnival is beginning to cannibalize their own tonnage to try and change tack with the Carnival fleetis that a foreshadow of what they would do across brand lines?
I think it would be interesting to see a new build design that is a one off Prinsendam clone or something similar.
Klosters horrible finances doomed the sister ships for both making them both one off ships.
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