Carnival tells Europe: We will be back

Carnival Cruise Line will return to Europe, CEO Gerry Cahill told a press conference on board Carnival Sunshine.

He made the pledge as he defended the cruise line leaving Europe after spending £100million changing Carnival Destiny into Sunshine to run routes from Barcelona to Venice.

At the same conference, Carnival announced the name of its 135,000-tonne, 4,000-passenger ship to launch in 2016 would be Carnival Vista.

Cahill said he was ‘optimistic’ the pullout from Europe would only last a year. The ‘Switch On Fun’ advertising campaign in Britain had been a success, he argued, but it was not enough to make up for the loss of American passengers put off by high transatlantic air fares. Challenged why Carnival could not fill one ship from the millions of cruisers living in Europe, Cahill said the brand was not well enough known outside Britain and it would require a big marketing campaign.

Cahill also revealed that some of the initial problems with Carnival Sunshine after delivery were down to vandalism of new cabins before they were installed on the ship, though he refused to be drawn on details.

After Sunshine ends its stint in Europe in October, it will transfer to New Orleans until April, when it will start routes from Port Canaveral.

Cahill started the conference by admitting it had been ‘kind of a rough year for us’. ‘After the situation on Triumph we decided to make a pretty significant investment across our fleet,’ he said.

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