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P&O order their biggest ship ever

P&O Britannia

Will P&O Cruises' biggest ship mean cheaper prices?

P&O Cruises have ordered the biggest ships in the world which will carry 5,200 passengers and arrive in 2020 but what will this mean for cruise prices? Will they go down? Well our feeling here at The Cruise Checker is YES - for a number of reasons.

1. 5,200 passengers is a lot to find for one itinerary

Whatever the size of ship, each cruise line has to plan a range of itineraries to suit its market - that's you, the cruise line's customer. Not all itineraries are popular. Often it is very difficult to find a popular destination from the UK that a cruise ship can visit in months such as November when the weather is cold and grey. There are only so many people who want to go down to the Canary Islands. So our guess is those shoulder season cruises will see some keen prices either on launch or close to departure.

2. An overall increase in cruise capacity is good for the customer

More cruise ships and bigger cruise ships mean more competition. Cruise Lines do not like sailing with empty cabins - they would rather have some revenue contribution to their overal costs than none. That means they will sell some cabins at a loss because the revenue they are receiving is at least paying towards all their other costs like buying the ship, fuel, food etc. The more cabins there are to fill throughout the cruise industry means more passengers to find and the easiest way to fill them is to reduce prices.

3. Cruise customers prefer smaller ships

Research shows that more than 50% of the market prefer smaller ships of less than 1000 passengers. If that is true, then P&O Cruises are going to have to work very hard to find people who want to cruise on a ship that carries over 5000 passengers. It may be a case of familiarity for traditional cruise customers who have only ever experienced smaller ships and have yet to discover the benefits that come with a much bigger ship such as the choice in restaurants and entertainment. If P&O do not find a market that want these facilities then they may have to revert to price to encourage people to try the bigger ships.

Whatever the outcome to pricing, it is exciting times in the cruise industry and P&O must be having success for the Carnvial Corporation to back the brand and jump the queue so they receive the ship before Costa as was planned.

You can use the Cruise Checker to see how prices differ between the size of cruise ships.