Carnival is considering home-porting a second ship in Australia all year round, chief executive and president Gerry Cahill revealed.
And if strong demand continues for the family fun ships, a third may be added to the line’s Sydney fleet – though the company would like to be able to operate from another port.
Mr Cahill was speaking aboard the Carnival Legend on her first day in Sydney after a triumphant arrival that sparked TV and press coverage that surprised even the American cruise chief.
Mr Cahill revealed the criteria for successfully home porting Carnival ships overseas: how much fun the local people have.
Australia meets Carnival’s appetite for fun.
“For 40 years, we have been providing fun on our cruises. People like Carnival because they like to be part of the show. They are very sociable and there are lots of people in Australia who are sociable.
“Our guest ratings were very high and our product resonated with people. This gave us the confidence to bring in Carnival Legend.
“We identified a segment of the market which has not been served – families with children. In the US, we carry more families and senior citizens than any other line.’’
He said Carnival Legend is not a pure American product.
“While it is difficult to modify a ship, we made the right call to modify enough to appeal to Australians.’’
Carnival spent $47 million “Aussifying’’ the vessel – adding the Green Thunder water slide, the game show Hasbro, Seuss at Sea and the Cherry on Top lolly shop for children.
“We made lots of tweaks and added branded space to appeal to Australian tastes,’’ Mr Cahill said.
“Seuss at Sea is such an iconic brand because its great with kids. Parents love it because it brings back their childhood so the brand resonates with both parents and children. It has been a big hit.’’
Check out the video below to see Carnival Legend arrive in Sydney for the first time earlier this week.