I would love to see a third Cunarder. I think a new build will hinge on the Cunard and Carnival people figuring out a route for her. With the QV and QM2, they will have Europe and Transatlantic covered. QM2's winter schedule will be enough to cover the Caribean. Alaska could be possible, but I would think Carnival would end up taking market share from their own units - Holland America, Princess.
I think you're right John. The QV will take the QE2's current place with cruises out of Southampton and the QM2 will be the flagship and transatlantic liner. This sale also puts to rest the questions about her getting around SOLAS 2010.
However, isn't the QV smaller in terms of size than the QE2? Cunard should not have rushed into selling the QE2 in view of SOLAS 2010 due to the fact that SOLAS can be bent in exceptional cases, e.g. QM2's lifeboats. Can the QV replace QE2's place? It is hard to imagine...The two ships look totally different and will give a totally different feeling, QV doesn't seem to have it as a 'ocean liner' like the QE2.
First, they got $100 million. Try to figure out how many passengers it would take to realize a NET profit (before taxes) with her still sailing.
Second. Due to the crappy former second class rooms, the QE2 is no longer considered a luxury boat.
Third. Is there a market for another luxury liner like the QM2 and the QV. Also, given the history of both of the QE's, any new liner would have to be iconic. Currently, Carnival Corp's newbuilds follow a tested design. That also makes the ships interchangable. The Vista class ships that are used in Carnival, Holland America and P&O mean that should one line incur losses, the ships can be transferred to another line, with another name. For any Cunard liner, you would have a great deal of problems doing that. Remember, having a number of ships with the same basic design is nothing new. White Star did it with their Olympic Class, Cunard did it with their Edwardian Cunarders, the Mauretania, Lusitania and Aquitainia. The Germans did with with Imperator, Bismark and Vaterland etc.
Fourth. Cost. To design and engineer a new class of liners, the D & E costs would be high. How many of them would you have to build to be able to spread the costs out to make the ships profitable within targeted timeframes.
Remember, Carnival/Cunard is in business to make money for her shareholders.
BUT. Here's where pragmatism gives way. As I've mentioned before, I would love to see Carnival/Cunard design a new class of ships. You have the "liberty" class, the "Vista" class, the "Genesis" class etc amongst the fleets.
Design a "Cunard" class liner. Do at least 3 newbuilds to make it financially worth while. Establish this new design as a flagship design. Do the first one as the QE3. Do the second one as the Canberra 3 for P&O (this would involve renaming the current Canberra, if there is one), and a third as the Aquitania. You could even do a fourth, as a New Amsterdam for HAL, as I don't think there is a New Amerstam in her fleet.
I would love to see it, but my heart is being yelled at by my head, saying that the name Cunard doesn't mean as much as it did a generation ago, so they will, in the short term, go with 2 ships.
And I can even see Cunard disappearing, if it will bring a good return to the shareholders.
I don't see Cunard disappearing or being sold off by Carnival Corp. As much as I detest Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Corp has been very smart in it's management of the individual units. I can't imagine either Cunard or HAL would have been around today without the marketing juggernaut that is Carnival Corp. As much as I would like to see a third ship in the Cunard fleet I see too much excess capacity in much of the world that makes it unlikely for at least 5-10 years.
Cunard should build another ship and call it the 'Prince Charles'. It could have massive bridge cabs in the shape of ears, not much going on uptop, doesn't know where it's going, friendly to the enviroment and talks to all it's onboard plants
I agree with you, but in the world of excess capacity, which would go first. A line with only 2 ships, or a much larger line like HAL, or P&O. Carnival hasn't invested a lot in Cunard like they have other lines they own, which makes me thing that either they beleive the mystique about the name, or are hedging their bets.
I assure you, mass lines that are cheap and attract the masses like Carnival, (and over here Star Cruises) are the ones rolling in the cash and are the parent companies' main priorities, not a 2 ship luxury line like Cunard. In business, its rather ruthless where cash comes before everything including history and tradition.
What about the crew on the QE2? Will they be transformed to the other ships, or maybe other lines? There will be three queens for about a year, so they will need to have three full crews. When QE2 goes they will have too many people, right?
I was thinking that same thing.
I have a feeling that they will transfer some of QE2's crew to the QV the same way they did to the QM2 in 2004. When the QE2 stops sailing they will transfer the remaining crew to both ships and probably move the crew that were not on the QE2 back to other Carnival Corp. ships.
If they do a newbuild, they can go 2 different ways. First, they could build, as I said above, an "iconic" liner, and name her QE3. Or, secondly, they could use one of the existing Carnival designs as a base, and build an Aquitainia 2/Mauretania 3/Berengaria 2.
Personally, I agree with you, that if they do a newbuild, it will be a QE3, to capitalize on the name. But I don't think they'll build another one for Cunard until the SOLAS effects are known. I can even see them selling off some of their older Carnival and Princess ships to other lines, and building new to replace them, before they do anything for Cunard.
Once again, I think the decision to add tonnage to Cunard will be driven by routes. I certainly see room for a third Cunarder in the premium and luxury price band positioned above Princess and Holland-America. I personally would like to see the Aquitania name on a smaller 250 - 500 passenger ship, that would be a larger Seabourne type. Cunard needs to "truely" be Carnival Corp's luxury entity.
The one thing I will give Mickey Ariston is he knows how to run a business. He knows what he has with Cunard and the other lines. Carnival Corp knows the value of image better than NCL, which in turn bodes well for the future of the line. Cunard will get a third (fourth, fifth, etc.) only when the market conditions are right.
BTW, the current Saga Rose was Caronia 3 so it would have to be Caronia 4.
The way NCL is hemmoraging money, maybe Cunard can get a 3rd, 4th and 5th all at once. From what I've read, there is no love lost between Ariston and NCL, so if Mickey got a chance to get some of their assets, you can be sure he would.
Cunard, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE CUK) signed an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of the new 2092—passenger ocean liner, which will be built at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone yard at an all-in cost of approximately â‚¬500 million. The vessel will be the second largest Cunarder ever built.