There’s a rumor going around the industry that Carnival Corp are looking to sell the Cunard and Seabourn brands.
The two lines could leave in a package deal. Carnival already announced that 9 ships would leave the fleet, then the total was raised to 13 ships. Now, recently, they’ve come out and said that 15 total ships will be leaving. The shedding of brands is not thought to be in that total. It’s clear Carnival is in pure survival mode at this point.
Why those two brands? Well they have the most senor demographics and require the highest cruise fares. Given that those 60+ demographics are being advised to stay home for longer, those ships will certainly be the most difficult to fill up. The premiums those fares command could possibly be lowered to attract a wider audience, thus diluting the brand or making the voyages not profitable. Alternatively, if Seabourn and to a lesser extent Cunard, fares remain at pre-COVID levels Carnival Corp feels they would have a problem convincing pax, who may already be on the fence about cruising, to spend that much money. Their voyages also tend to run longer than others (10+nights plus are extremely common) and so far it seems that it’s the shorter cruises that will get off the ground first.
Carnival Corp of the post-COVID, era may want to stick to the mass market brands of Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess, and Holland America. The latter two could be the replacement “premium brands” (although there really are no comparisons between Princess/HAL and Cunard/Seabourn).
UPDATE: Carnival Corp. was quick to deny the report that they are looking for buyers of the two brands.