Just curious , as the Horizon & Zenith are around 10 yrs old has anyone
heard of any plans that Celebrity might have for replacing these ships
with new ones ?. I am assuming these are the only 2 ships in their
fleet that can travel the waters off Bermuda due to their size.
Why should they replace them? They've both been refurbished & are wonderful ships. Very comfortable with the same good service & food as other Celebrity ships. Not EVERY ship needs to be a huge super liner with 2,000 to 3,000 passengers or have verandas. Vive le difference!
Horizon and Zenith's Bermuda programs are very lucrative for Celebrity and until that island's policy changes, i think you will see both stay in service. However, there are rumors that several European cruise lines are interested in Horizon, so she may be the first to go as Celebrity adds to their fleet and expands their itineraries.
Does anybody remember... I think it was around Nov of 99 when Celebrity said they were sending Horizon to Europe???.... then they abruptly changed their minds because they were given permission to run both ships into Bermuda?
I love having Horizon doing the loop out of Aruba. Now, if we could just get decently priced air..
As you may well be aware, Zenith is going to be doing 7-night cruises out of Tampa starting in November. At least that gives us another FL port with reasonable air (for the NE).
I don't think Celebrity has any other ship which can fit comfortably through St. Catherine's Gut into St. George's. It is dificult enough for Horizon/Zenith.
Anyone know how much time is left on Celebrity's Bermuda run contract? They are given for 10 years. I just can't remember.
I personally think Horizon/Zenith can continue in the NA market for sometime,,, as long as Celebrity updates them from time to time.
The Bermuda run is just too profitable. The mega ships of today won't be able to go there (well, they could maybe dock at King's Wharf only) so a cruise line that wants to go there regularly, and dock in Hamilton or St. George, better hang on to a smaller ship or two!
Celebrity plans on keeping the Horizon and Zenith around for at least a few more years as several people have pointed out, they are essential for maintaining the lucrative summer Bermuda contracts.
However, much of this remains to play out as Celebrity's contracts are up in 2003. Celebrity has been mulling over plans to replace them with a set of 50,000 ton newbuilds with an all outside cabin arrangement and possibly an all verandah arrangement.
But Celebrity will probably need assurances from Bermuda that they will retain a two ship contract for at least another ten years if they are to proceed with a contract and you wont see the first new ship until at least mid 2004 as that is the forst possible time slot in which Meyer Werft could deliver a newbuild for Celebrity. Needless to say, there is little chance of them being built in France!
So, for the time being, these two will continue to be the "pathfinders", opening up new markets and itineraries and maintaining the Bermuda run.
A ship that's only ten years old is very young. There's no reason to retire them. Even if the Bermudan authorities decide not to renew Celebrity's permits, those ships would be ideal for opening and developing new routes -- perhaps in Asia, the South Pacific, and South America.
I would also note that Princess has no immediate plans to dispose of MV Royal Princess, which began service in 1984 and thus is now about seventeen years old. MV Royal Princess is very similar in size and passenger capacity to the two vessels in question.
Matt, I admit be prejudiced in favor of keeping the Zenith, our favorote ship, for many more years to come.
"It certainly would be nice if Celebrity decides to do new builds for the Bermuda market that the ships would be simiilar in size and passenger capacity to which Holland America's new ships are like."
These ships are YOUNG in terms of ships, at the beginning of their lifespan and no where near in need of replacement yet. The only serious detriment they really have in todays market is the lack of balconies, something apparently craved by so many of us at this point. I'll live with it though
Since we go to Bermuda every October via Zenith I would be extremely happy if they continued with this itinerary and ship. PLenty of other alternatives for those that want them, the megas are plentiful at this point.
I guess it is a sign of the times when a 10 year old, well-maintained ship is considered old and rumors begin that their owners are about to sell her. As others have already noted, there are certain ports and itineraries which are ideal for ships the size of Horizon and Zenith. Smaller (having started cruising on ships that were less than 20,000 GRT, it is still difficult to consider ships the size of Horizon and Zenith small) ships are also ideal for trying out new and perhaps exotic itineraries. RCI frequently did this with Sun Viking and only brought on their larger ships to those itineraries when there was evidence of growth potential and consumer interest. While the economies of scale may make it unprofitable for the major lines to build new ships of the approximate size and passenger capacity of Horizon and Zenith, ports of call such as Bermuda will limit the options of any cruiseline that sails there. I suspect that Celebrity will hang on to these ships (unless of course someone makes them an offer they can't refuse) as long as possible, and I suspect that they would welcome another long term contract with Bermuda.
Norm , Thanks for your response. To all the repliers , I was not implying
that these ships had to be retired as we cruised on the Horizon to
Bermuda for the 1st time last summer. We certainly had no complaints
what so ever about the ships cleaniliness , comfort etc .... as a matter of
fact we are booking for a September run. We loved the Horizon and Bermuda.
The thrust of my question was in relation to the airline industry where
the typical age of an airlines fleet seems to be marketed as an advantage
if it is young. Based on this and the lucrative Bermuda market I would think
Celebrity would have some sort of timeline as to when to replace these ships.
What is the average age of ships in the major cruise lines fleet ?. Do they
not promote that to their advantage ?. What were to happen if for example
NCL came out with a new 50 ton ship for Bermuda. Would not Celebrity
perceive this as a threat ?. I would think the average Tom , Dick & Harry
might lean towards NCL over Celebrity only because its a new ship ?.
Perhaps for Bermuda it is of no consequence as there are too many Tom
Dick & Harry's that no one will suffer.
Zenith and Horizon are in excellent condition, and, as you mention, they are small enough to have access to Bermuda. I think eventually the cruise line will have to start doing more exotic itineraries. To note: Mercury cruises South America this winter. Perhaps Asia? Australia? Lots of people love these ships (myself included) and they're quite popular. I see them being around for years.