FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- It's an unusual move for a cruise line to
pull a ship from service for an entire season.
However, it happened at Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, which said
low volume prompted it to cancel its winter South America sailings
aboard its oldest ship, the Song of Flower, instead idling the ship
in the Mediterranean.
Several factors contributed to the low volume, said Mark Conroy,
Radisson Seven Seas president, not the least of which was that the
Song of Flower, which normally sails in Asia during the winter, was
a late entrant to the South America market.
"November and December cruises in South America are hard to
sell," he said. "And people are counting their pennies."
Nevertheless, Seven Seas Navigator will sail a South America
circumnavigation beginning Dec. 27, and Conroy said the voyage was
selling well. The line was able to accommodate several Song of
Flower passengers on that ship.
Idling the ship is not a loss -- at least, not financially,
"South America is a very expensive place to operate, [but] the
ship is small and we don't have any debt on it," he said.