In the long haul, probably not. My understanding of the ground is that this is something of a niche market. One that could use a couple of extra ships to maintain the service, but not much beyond that. "Getting there is half the fun." isn't very convincing to people who can get there in just a few hours on a fast jet. It's viable for cargo, and that's what you see a lot of these days. For people in a rush to get from point A to point B, it doesn't work out quite so well.
I Believe Standart is Right on This 1. A Good Amount of People I have talked to have said it would be a nice 1 time thing to try, now as for ship Enthusiastic person like myself, if i could, i'd try to do atleast every once a year. so the QM2 does a Good Job alone providing Passanger Service, though competition wouldn't Hurt.
Chances of regular trans-Atlantic service are slim. Consider the economics by comparing the cost of an airline ticket to the price of four days in a first class hotel with meals. Flights today are cheaper and faster. And, people make their travel purchases based primarily upon cost and speed.
>>And if one wishes to go 'cruising', the north Atlantic in winter would not be one's first choice of waters.<<
Well, it certainly wouldn't be my first choice! Things can get a bit dicey up there to say the least.
>>And, people make their travel purchases based primarily upon cost and speed.<<
And that point made by David is really the bottom line on the whole thing. "Get me there as quickly and cheaply as possible" was one of the big driving forces which made for ever larger and faster ships on the North Atlantic run. When ships couldn't do any better, the customers went over to the aviation industry which could. The customers voted with their pocketbooks and the liners got the dirty end of the stick.
A few years ago I asked maritime historian Bill Miller if there will be a sister ship for the Queen Mary 2 or if the Queen Elizabeth 2 will still be making Trans-Atlantic crossings after the Queen Mary 2 enters service.He said no to both questions and explained that the Trans-Atlantic passenger ship market can only support one ship.For example there are only enough passengers to fill up only one ship in one year of Trans-Atlantic crossings which today that ship is the Queen Mary 2.And because of that reason is why there will probably be no competition in the Trans-Atlantic passenger ship market.And I seriously doubt that Royal Caribbean,Celebrity and Norwegian Cruise Line would want to spend $800 million dollars to build a true ocean liner and $800 million dollars was the price tag to build the Queen Mary 2.These cruise companies want a return on their investment and there would be no profits if there are more than one ship on the Trans-Atlantic route.For the rest of this year the QM2 will do a few more Trans-Atlantic crossings and in December the QE2 will do one Trans-atlantic crossing to reposition herself from Southampton to New York before she does the Christmas cruise from New York and then the start of the World Cruise.Next year in 2005 the QM2 will do 26 Trans-Atlantic crossings which is double from this year when the QM2 only did 13 Trans-Atlantic crossings in 2004.
If it was really cheap-say $50 for the cheapest ticket, and the service was great, and the ship was as fast as the SS United states, there would be a slight possibility. On the other hand, I think if someone came out with a "sunken ship" line with replicas of the titanic and so, It would probably generate enough money to stay open for a few decades.
>>If it was really cheap-say $50 for the cheapest ticket, and the service was great, and the ship was as fast as the SS United states, there would be a slight possibility.<<
I can't really concur with that one. The market these days is in cruising. The simple fact is that when most people want to get from one side of the ocean to the other, they want to get there in one fine hurry. An ocean liner will never outrace Mr. Boeing's or Airbus Industrie's creations.
>>On the other hand, I think if someone came out with a "sunken ship" line with replicas of the titanic and so, It would probably generate enough money to stay open for a few decades.<<
Extremely unlikely. You might want to check out some of the threads in This Subfolder for more on that. Period replicas of a lot of the Great Liners would never even be allowed to sail as they would never meet currant standards for Safety of Life at Sea and other regulations.
I think that if Transatlantic service is ever restored, it will be on Italia's former 'Sunny Southern Route' where crossing and a cruising vacation can be combined. Most cruise passengers want multiple 'fun' ports, which the NYC/ (possibly Las Palmas)/ Gibraltar/ Monte Carlo Nice/Villefranche/Genoa route can offer. A pair of fast but smaller ships could conceivably do it. The traditional Northern crossing does not offer as much to appeal to non-ship enthusiasts, and what market there is seems to be captured by Cunard.
Italia was killed off by three uneconomical flagships (Leonardo Da Vinci, and the Michelangelo and Rafaello all had horrible fuel economy) and high labor costs more than it was by declining passenger numbers.In the final full year of Italia service (1974) Rafaello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo Da Vinci carried 25,551 passengers on 14 1/2 Transatlantic voyages, a 34% decline over 1973 in which 21 voyages had been made. 38,000 travelled aboard them as pure cruise vessels. Altogether in that terminal year 120,477 passengers used Italia worldwide, which was not too poor a showing for the 'dark years' of liner travel. Had the three major liners not been 'gas hogs' (to use a car term) and had they operated under flags of convenience (non union staff) they would probably have survived at least into the 1980s.
I think that it would have to be in reverse, with period interiors in a modern shell. The counter stern, as on the Titanic, would result in too much wasted revenue producing space, with odd shaped small cabins following the contour of the hull. Similarly, the upper decks of the classic era liners (Normandie and Queen Elizabeth notwithstanding) would be a drag on the contemporary market- too cluttered and not enough space for pools, jogging tracks, etc.
Period interiors are beginning to appear on the new breed of ships, and one workable possibility would be to encorporate 'sunken liner rooms' into this hypothetical cruise line. The QM2 has some extremely convincing synthetic wood aboard, so some of the old style panelled rooms could be rebuilt to conform to current safety standards. one drawback to a liner done entirely with such interiors is that the public at large does not feel relaxed in such a setting.
The $50 fare would work out to be $7 and change per day for the crossing. At that rate, 'no frills' would not even begin to describe the crossing experience- having stayed in my share of 'under $10 motels,' I have a fairly grim mental picture of what one would encounter.
Then they wouldn't be faithful replicas on the one hand and on the other, at best, they would only be able to cater to what is sometimes known as a niche market. As expensive as a ship is, a shipping line is on very thin ice catering to a clientele that would tend to be very limited in scope. One or two such vessels might work out in the short term, but in the long haul, I wouldn't be willing to chance it.
Shipping lines are nothing if not pragmatic and realistic about this sort of thing. They have to be as the line between success and failure is often surprisingly thin. You can be reasonably certain that market studies have been conducted on just this proposition, and that further studies are a continuous thing. They have to be in order for a line to be competitive. Were this idea a viable proposition, somebody would have done it by now.