Ambassador Cruise Line: In With the New – Cruise Industry News
A new cruise line with a multitude of familiar faces in management is what Ambassador Cruise Line is bringing to the UK cruise market.
Former executives of Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), a cruise line that started operating almost a year ago, have teamed up to launch a new brand with a ship that was once supposed to start sailing for CMV.
The ship was the former Pacific Dawn and was due to upgrade to CMV in 2021 before going out of business. Originally launched as the Regal Princess, the ship moved to P&O Australia and experienced a short period as a “crypto cruise ship” at the end of 2020. Now renamed Ambience, the ship will begin sailing for Ambassador in spring 2022.
“We have the advantage of having experience in this area and of having succeeded in building something that unfortunately failed to get through COVID,” said CEO Christian Verhounig. Cruise Industry News. “But (Ambassador Cruise Line) is very new; we define a new vision behind it with new values. And I think it’s extremely exciting.
Verhounig said the concrete idea to start the cruise line arose in the fall of 2020, a few months after CMV’s demise.
“We had seen a niche that had become free. We had seen massive pent-up demand in the market. While the cruise industry has faced negative press, frequent cruisers or older cruisers in particular recognize how safe cruises are and how great value they are. Therefore, we have decided to open a top quality product, very focused on the future, sustainability and ethics, ”he noted.
Bringing the 1,590 passenger ship back to the fleet was not a question of taking over what was to be CMV’s ship in 2020, Verhounig said.
“This is the ship itself. The vessel is the perfect size for the market entry we anticipate. It has a huge space ratio, almost incomparable to anything on the mainstream market today. She has very spacious cabins, which are well suited to the cruises that we are planning, which are usually longer routes, ”he explained.
While the first 33 cruises offered by Ambassador are relatively short cruises, Ambassador’s goal for the future is to offer longer itineraries. This would ultimately include world cruises. But for now, the initial deployment package includes the Baltic, Greenland, the Arctic and Iceland, along with a range of expedition-style trips to the Canaries, Cuba, the Caribbean, Cape Verde and Scandinavia during the winter months.
Making the ambience respectful of the environment was one of the most important tasks before the launch of the Ambassador.
“It came at the right price for us, which allows us to invest heavily in all environmental aspects. We decided that before it enters the market, we will modernize the vessel on the engine side, to make it fully IMO Tier III compliant so that it can enter environmental protected areas that have already ratified. IMO requirements, ”said Verhounig.
Verhounig has not revealed which or how many other Ambassador cruise ships are watching, but said they would be similar in size to the Ambience.
“A project as such is not about the number of ships we have; I don’t think we have a target for this. We want to become the leading provider of premium cruises to the silver market. We want to have it in the UK, but also in other national markets, ”he said, adding that adding home ports in other countries was on the agenda.
Extract from the Cruise Industry News quarterly magazine: summer 2021