Carnival Cruise Lines, which is part of Carnival Corp & plc group, has announced a return to cruising in UK waters for the first time since 2008 with the deployment of Carnival Legend to Dover, Travel weekly reports in a newsletter.
The 2,600-capacity ship, which was built in 2002 will operate 17 cruises from the Kent port between 22 April and 31 October 2013. The decision to bring a ship back to the UK reflects Carnival’s ambitions to significantly grow brand awareness under new managing director Adolfo Perez.
Carnival was forced to abandon plans to establish a permanent base in the UK when the financial crisis hit in 2008 after it named Carnival Splendor in Dover. But Perez said the line believes now is the right time to re-establish its global expansion with the UK being one of its key markets outside of the US.
“Our goal is to grow the cruise market by attracting new-to-cruise,” said Perez. “The fact we are putting a ship in the UK’s backyard gives us access to UK guests and our marketing campaign is going to drive the brand.”
As well as Baltic cruises Carnival Legend will also sail in the Norwegian Fjords and around the British Isles as well as some Mediterranean cruises, the report said.