NEW YORK -- P&O Princess Cruises, parent of Princess Cruises,
became the second major cruise line to announce ship redeployments
as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The re-deployments by P&O, cruising's third-largest
operator, follows last week's move by Norwegian Cruise Line, the
fourth-largest operator, which shifted two ships to the Caribbean
The 1,200-passenger Royal Princess, originally slated to offer a
world cruise and an eastern Mediterranean series, instead will
offer roundtrip Panama Canal cruises from February to April 2002.
The 2,010-passenger Sea Princess, scheduled to offer southern
Caribbean cruises from January to April 2002, will instead offer
Mexican Riviera sailings from Los Angeles.
Princess oldest ship, Pacific Princess (640 passengers) will be
removed from service from Nov. 2001 to May 2002, when the ship will
resume Bermuda sailings. And Pacific Princess is still scheduled
leave the company's fleet in Oct. 2002, when it is delivered to new
The re-deployments were made to "Accommodate the anticipated
reduction in demand from North American passengers for cruises in
the Indian Ocean, Middle East and Africa region," according to a
company statement. The changes are also aimed at "[taking]
advantage of our strength in the local Californian market."
expect the re-deployments to cost the company $5 million in net
revenues "based on the yields we achieved in 2001 on the equivalent
itineraries." The company also switched $350 million in long-term
borrowings from fixed to floating-rate interest to take advantage
of lower short-term interest rates, a move that will reduce
interest costs by $7 million in 2002.
Meanwhile, in a brief update of the company's post-Sept. 11
operations, P&O Princess officials said fleet occupancy
"steadily increased throughout last week as air services returned
to normality" with seven Princess sailings departing between Sept.
21 and Sept. 24 averaging 92% occupancy.