Not heard of it? The Great British Cruise War of 2020? Well; you wouldn’t have. I am predicting it & I am naming it. I am certain it will happen though.
The will be a War in 2020 between P&O and Royal Caribbean. The likely prize the British Family Cruise market. The UK is already the 2nd biggest cruise market in the world. With new ships coming to Thomson & the return of NCL indicating increasing confidence and competition in the market. However; the big 2 players remain P&O and Royal Caribbean. Both have many loyal followers but the is an increasing number of occasional cruisers who have no brand loyalty.
Lets look at recent historical events between the 2 companies. Although they have claimed in the past they are not in direct competition history suggests they are.
- In 2008 P&O launched the biggest Cruise Ship ever created for the British Market the Ventura sailing from Southampton. Royal Caribbean launched the biggest Cruise Ship in the World Independence of the Seas also sailing from Southampton.
- In 2015 P&O launched the new biggest Cruise Ship ever created for the British Market the Britannia sailing from Southampton. Royal Caribbean launched the biggest Cruise Ship to be based in the UK Anthem of the Seas.
You will have probably seen in the press that P&O have announced a new ship for 2020. The ship will be a massive 180,000 GT which is bigger than Quantum & Freedom Class ships. The 2008 launched Independence of the Seas will struggle against this new Mega Ship.
You may also have seen recently that Royal Caribbean have also announced a new 7 year deal with the Port of Southampton. Michael Bayley has also hinted that a new ship will come to Southampton in the next few years refusing to rule out it will be an Oasis Class ship. These comments were made before the recent P&O announcement….you now wonder if he will intensify that planning. A withdrawal from Southampton after signing a 7 year contract seems unlikely.
Oasis 5 will not launch until 2021 but it seems that Oasis Class ships will be based in Europe every 5 years following Dry Docks. Assuming this is correct 2020 will be the turn of Allure of the Seas for Dry Dock.
I predict that in 2020 sailing from Southampton will be the new P&O Ship & the revitalised Allure of the Seas with water slides etc. I predict this will signify the start of the Great British Cruise War of 2020.
2020 could be an exciting time for cruising from Britain & remember you heard about the battle here first.