Micky Arison, Chairman of the Carnival Corporation, was interviewed by Jeremy Vine at the ABTA Convention taking place in Barcelona and here is what he had to say
Carnival Corportation chief Micky Arison has denied having ‘ship envy’ over rival Royal Caribbean building the world’s largest cruise ship.
Arison, responding to questioning at the ABTA Travel Convention in Barcelona, said his company would not be looking to match Royal Caribbean’s 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas which enters service at the end of the year.
“QM2 will be the largest ship we will ever build,” said Arison, adding that the organization had no plans to build any larger ships than those currently in service for key brands Carnival Cruise Lines and P&O Cruises.
“There’s nothing wrong with larger, but it’s different strokes for different folks,” he told convention delegates.
The Carnival Corporation chairman and CEO pointed out cost and logistical issues surrounding mega cruise ships and limitations their size imposed on visiting certain ports.
“We like to be able to call at ports like Venice,” he added.
Arison outlined the impact of the recession on his company and the need to cut prices to encourage people to still take cruises.
This meant the price of cruise holidays had become “irresistible” this year and had helped attract more first-timers.
For Carnival Corporation this meant that three million of its eight million annual passengers globally had never been on a cruise before.
“The real positive of discounting is that you open the market to a wider audience,” said Arison.
He described the business environment as “stabilizing” but admitted there was “still a long way to go” from the impact of the recession which hit a year ago.
“Prices will recover over time,” said Arison, whose company operates 93 ships across all its brands.