Carnival Cruise Lines is pulling Carnival Liberty out of Dover next summer as a result of the economic crisis affecting the US market.
Carnival made its ex-UK debut this year with Carnival Splendor sailing to the Baltics out of Dover. The ship was due to be replaced by Carnival Liberty next summer, with ten departures out of Dover to the Baltics and itineraries to western Europe. The ship will instead operate out of Miami to the Caribbean.
Bookings for the ship’s cruises next summer out of the UK remained “healthy” but more than 50% of passengers were due to come from the US market, which has led to the decision to pull the ship.
A spokeswoman said: “We have had to pull Carnival Liberty out of the UK next summer due to the economic uncertainty in the US and the high cost of air lift. While our UK bookings were steady, we still depend on a high proportion of Americans travelling on the ship.”
The company is now working with travel agents to offer customers booked on the ship’s cruises next summer alternatives or refunds where necessary. Sister company Holland America Line can offer a fly-cruise but not an ex-UK Baltic cruise while Carnival Dream is offering $50 onboard credit on Mediterranean cruises out of Rome from autumn 2009.
“We are giving people options; we cannot offer like for like. It is very sad as we have had a great year with Splendor. Hopefully people will understand,” added the spokeswoman.