2 cruise lines to boost Hawaii trips in 2010-11


POSTED: Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Hawaii's cruise market, which had declined this year 22.9 percent through July, is likely to become more buoyant in 2010 and 2011 when two major cruise lines expand their island presence.

Princess Cruises and the uber-luxury Cunard Line are taking reservations for Hawaii sailings, which peaked in 2007 and had been declining ever since. The number of sailings in Hawaii dropped to 141 from 252 in 2008 after NCL pulled two of its home-ported ships from the islands in reaction to widening losses from the surge in foreign-flagged competition. This year the number fell to 108, when Hawaii's foreign-flagged vessels were threatened by a proposed rule change that would have required them to stop at least 48 hours in a foreign port before proceeding to Hawaii. Gov. Linda Lingle campaigned against the rule change, and it was ultimately defeated—however, not in time for foreign-flagged vessels to put Hawaii on their 2009 schedules.

While the additional foreign-flagged cruise traffic will not completely offset NCL's earlier downswing, it's a move in the right direction, said state Tourism Liaison Marsha Wienert.





        With the exception of a few months, Hawaii's cruise visitors had been declining from January 2008 to June 2009. However, the market is likely to see a gain next year with the expansion of its foreign-flagged ships.

Sapphire Princess192,67050,730
Queen Victoria22,0144,028

        Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin


“;We hope this will be the start of the cruise market repositioning in our state,”; Wienert said.

Princess, which is part of Carnival Corp., has scheduled 19 Hawaii sailings for its 2010-11 schedule. The new Sapphire Princess schedule features three additional voyages that include Hawaii, said Susanne Ferrull, Princess' media information specialist.

Increased interest in Hawaii sailings prompted Princess to add several more of these sailings to its West Coast lineup, said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.

Princess canceled 15 previously scheduled Mexican Riviera sailings to accommodate its new offerings in Hawaii and the South Pacific. Embarkation ports are Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sydney.

New voyages include 29- and 30-day voyages to Hawaii, Tahiti and the South Pacific as well as a 14-day cruise to the Hawaiian islands. The new Sapphire Princess voyages, which can accommodate up to 2,670 passengers, will begin at $1,995 per person for Hawaiian island sailings. Longer Pacific crossings that include stops in Hawaii will start at $4,195 per person.

Cunard's Queen Victoria, which holds as many as 2,014 passengers, also will call on Honolulu and Lahaina during its 2010 World Voyage. In 2011 the Queen Victoria will embark on two 14-day voyages to Hawaii, with stops in Hilo, Honolulu and Nawiliwili. Cunard's Hawaiian island cruises, which start in Los Angeles, will begin at $2,495 per person.

“;The increase in business will be good for Hawaii, especially for the state's activities and attractions market,”; Wienert said. “;Many businesses in our state rely on the cruise market.”;