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Friday, September 30, 2016

Germany Cruise Operator AIDA Cruises Releases the Name and Itinerary for Their New Ship in 2017



AIDAprima - Identical Sister Ship to AIDA Cruises' AIDAperla Debuting in September 201
AIDAprima - Identical Sister Ship to AIDA Cruises' AIDAperla Debuting in September 2017
 AIDA Cruises announced the 2017 Itinerary for their newest cruise ships the AIDAperla.

AIDAprima's sister ship the AIDAperla joins the fleet in September 2017. The AIDAperla will offer two different weekly Med routes departing from  Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona. Ports of call include the  island of Corsica, Florence/Livorno and Rome/Civitavecchia in addition to Mallorca and Barcelona.  The alternating itinerary includes stops in Florence/Livorno, Rome/ Civitavecchia and an overnight in Marseille.

The 124,500 ton 3,300 passenger ship is currently under construction at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan. The ship's unique provide (vertical bow) make her and her sister ship almost immediately identifiable.

AIDA Cruises caters primarily to German speaking cruise passengers.


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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cruise Lines Investing Heavily in China


Norwegian Cruise Line has committed the Norwegian Joy to the Chinese Market
Norwegian Cruise Line has committed the NEW Norwegian Joy to the Chinese Market

Cruise operators are always looking for new markets to expand their cruise passenger draw. China is the object of focus by many cruise lines. Royal Caribbean probably was the first western cruise line to enter the China Market. One could argue that Costa Cruises had a presence in China earlier. What was most unique about Royal Caribbean's entry into China was the entry utilized  a brand new ship - the Quantum of the Seas. For entry into new markets most cruise lines use their older tonnage. Using new ships into a market entry is almost unheard of. In addition, this has made it difficult for cruise lines to determine where they send their older ships. The Mediterranean still seems to be the location of choice for older ships.

Following the lead of Costa and Royal Caribbean - Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises have all committed young or brand new ships to the market. Interesting enough, AIDA Cruises -had announced last month that the German operator was going to start sailing from China - offering a traditional German experience - This month they have announced a chnage in plans that the ship will remain in the Med.

Just this week it was announced that cruise lines are thinking of offering ships purely dedicated to the Chinese market in the Mediterranean and Caribbean as well - offering, food, entertainment and activities appreciated by Chinese clientele.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Aranui Announces 2018 Earlybird Deals - Freighter Cruises.


Aranui Cruises - Aranui 5 - Society Islands and Marquesas Islands Freighter Cruises
Aranui Cruises - Aranui 5 - Society Islands and Marquesas Islands Freighter Cruises
With 2016 full, and 2017 almost at capacity, Aranui Cruises has released early-bird deals for Aranui 5’s first
sailings in 2018.
The company has just announced its first three departures of 2018 which have been discounted by 10 per
cent, with fares from $5750* per person twin share in a standard stateroom. The discount is available
across all accommodation categories and offered until December 31, 2016.
The new 125-metre long mixed cargo and passenger vessel has proved so popular in its first season that
the cruise line has added two additional sailings to its 2017 schedule, with the full 2018 program to be
released later in the year.
Aranui’s Regional Representative Australia New Zealand Laurent Wong said in addition to offering all the
mod cons of a new freighter, Aranui 5’s cruise fare included a couple of thousand dollars’ worth of added
value such as shore excursions through the 17 scheduled ports of call, a twice weekly laundry service, all
main meals and a complimentary glass of wine with onboard lunches and dinners.
“Aranui 5 presents an incredibly great value way to experience Tahiti, while also offering an authentic
seafaring adventure. The cruise line’s 14-day itineraries take guests to nine islands across three striking
and distinct French Polynesian archipelagoes – the Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society Islands – showing
off some of the most naturally beautiful and untouched islands in the world, all with the comfort and ease of
cruising,” Mr Wong said.
“As a working ship, Aranui 5 offers a rare experience in the modern world and we know that a huge
highlight for our guests is seeing first-hand the freighter’s operations as it dispenses a lifeline of food, fuel
and other staples to the remote island ports it visits.”
The destination-rich itinerary includes Bora Bora and its famed blue lagoon; the chance to walk in the
footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson, Herman Melville and Paul Gauguin on Nuka Hiva, Ua Pou, Ua Huka,
Tahuata, Fatu Hiva and Hiva Oa in the far-flung Marquesas; and the picturesque Tuamotu ports of
Rangiroa and Takapoto.
During the 14-day round-trip cruise from Papeete, the freighter line dispenses cargo while guests disembark
and explore a range of complimentary excursions including hikes, 4WD tours, visits to archaeological sites
and a picnic on a secluded beach in Bora Bora. Throughout the journey, guests enjoy the comforts of a
cruise ship including a restaurant, two conference rooms, lounges, a library, a computer room, a boutique, a
swimming pool, a fitness room, a spa and four bars including the popular Sky Bar
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Jewel Has Scrubbers Installed - Other Ships Scheduled for Similar Enhancements

 
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Jewel - New Sulfur Emissions Scrubber
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Jewel - New Sulfur Emissions Scrubbers


In conjunction with its Eco-Smart Cruising program, Norwegian announced today the successful completion of the retrofitting of a new Exhaust Gas Scrubber system on Norwegian Jewel, aimed at significantly reducing air emissions and the ship’s environmental footprint.
Norwegian Cruise Line is the first cruise line to retrofit a vessel while it is in service with an Exhaust Gas Scrubber Hybrid system. Norwegian Jewel’s new lightweight in-line scrubbers are a hybrid technology developed by Yara Marine Technologies that are able to operate in Dry mode, Open loop and Closed loop. Five scrubbers were installed, one per engine, covering the whole propulsion system.  Collectively, they are capable of reducing the emission of sulfur to air up to 99 percent and also reduce 85 percent particulate emission to the air.
Norwegian Jewel’s new technology will reduce the equivalent of approximately 1,500 tons of Sulfur Oxide, SOx, gas in the years to come as a result of this new technology. A two year project, Norwegian Jewel’s retrofitting began in spring 2014 and featured more than 100,000 man hours between numerous partner organizations to be completed.
“Norwegian is firmly dedicated to upholding the highest standards of excellence in environmental protection practices, as well as leading the industry in seeking out technology that makes our ships not only an enjoyable vacation experience, but also ensures that we continuously protect the environment that our guests love to explore,” said Robin Lindsay, Executive Vice President of Vessel Operations for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
Norwegian is the first cruise line to install scrubbers with a state-of-the-art water membranes filtration unit. This sophisticated water cleaning system uses Ultrafiltration technology to clean the recirculated water during the closed loop operation down to clear water.  The by-product is collected and removed in drums.
As part of Eco-Smart Cruising, Norwegian’s Safety and Environmental Protection Policy establishes several objectives relating to the environment, which include reducing the impact of its operations on the environment, disposing garbage and waste materials in accordance with national and international rules and regulations, recycling and re-using materials and establishing specific objectives and targets for continual improvement of environmental management programs.
Norwegian currently has three of ships outfitted with Gas Scrubbers technology, with Norwegian Jewel joining Norwegian Escape and Pride of America. Norwegian Cruise Line is on track to meet its MARPOL Annex VI compliance goal of reducing its global sulfur cap from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent by 2020. Furthering Norwegian’s commitment to Eco-Smart Cruising, Norwegian Jewel’s sister ships, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Gem, will complete their scrubber commissioning within the coming weeks with Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Sun scheduled for retrofitting in the first and second quarter of 2017, respectively.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Ponant Release Details On 4 New Expedition Yachts.

 

 
Ponant Cruises - 4 New Mega Yachts
Ponant Cruises - 4 New Mega Yachts
 The pinnacle of expeditions

September, 2016 | Ponant, the only French-owned cruise line and the world leader in luxury expeditions, presents its new series of yachts, the PONANT EXPLORERS.
Four new yachts will soon be added to the Ponant fleet, confirming the cruise line’s position as the world leader in luxury expeditions. The first two will arrive in time for the Summer 2018 season and the other two for Summer 2019.

The Great Explorers

Le Lapérouse, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville, Le Kerguelen: the names of the 4 ships in the PONANT EXPLORERS series pay tribute to great French explorers who set sail to discover new continents.
This choice reflects Ponant’s loyalty to the French flag, the safest in the world according to the Paris MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) ranking for flags in 2013 and 2014. Ponant is the only cruise ship operator flying this flag, a guarantee of environmental quality, ship safety and good working conditions.
The names of the 4 ships also pay tribute to Ponant’s expertise in luxury expeditions and to its legitimacy as world leader: the PONANT EXPLORERS are designed to gain access to the most inaccessible locations and to go further, where others do not go.
Infinity Pool and Pool Deck on Ponant New Exploration Yachts
Infinity Pool and Pool Deck on Ponant New Exploration Yachts

 Discover exceptional cultures and destinations
As an expert in polar navigation for over 15 years, Ponant has taken no less than 35,000 passengers to the polar regions since the cruise line’s first expedition in 2000. Shore visits and zodiac excursions, exclusive tours to inaccessible places, encounters with the locals, and opportunities to chat with our experienced naturalist guides and expedition leaders punctuate these exceptional trips. From the close contact each day with the crew and the expedition teams made up of passionate experts, to the bridge access and the shore visits and zodiac landings organized in small groups… everything is designed to bring you as close as possible to nature for a thrilling, unforgettable experience.

Ponant continues to establish itself as the benchmark for a new style of cruising that now extends to tropical and sub-tropical regions.

Passengers taking our tropical and sub-tropical expedition cruises will be able to discover Oceania’s lagoons and secret islands, get access to the most pristine sites in South America, or discover the Orinoco River in the Amazon, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, the Indian Ocean and much more. We are bringing you a host of routes to help you discover more about the local culture, flora and fauna.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

MSC Cruises New Private Island Debut Delayed.


MSC Cruises Private Island - Ocean Cay MSC Reserve
Artists Rendering: MSC Cruises Private Island - Ocean Cay MSC Reserve

MSC Cruises had planned to introduce it's new private island in the Bahamas to coincide with the arrival of their new MSC Seaside in December of 2017. Unfortunately the undertaking is a bigger effort than expected.

On December 16, 2015,  Prime Minister Perry Christie of the Bahamas and MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago signed a 100-year lease agreement that will enable MSC Cruises to occupy and develop the island to be called Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

 The ground breaking is now expected to occur on October 6th, 2016 and be open to guests starting in October 2018.

Additional Background On Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

 At 95-acres in size and with 11,400 feet of pristine beach front spread across six distinct beaches, Ocean Cay Marine Reserve will be – by a large margin – the biggest island development by any cruise company in the Caribbean. In addition, as the only marine reserve island experience, it will offer a multitude of key distinguishing features.
 
For example, a purpose-built berth and pier right on the seafront means that MSC Cruises guests will be able to step off the ship straight onto the island. Since a unique part of their visit will be the island’s night life in particular live music and entertainment at the 2,000-seat amphitheater and many restaurants and bars, guests moving at leisure between ship and island will be especially convenient. In addition, the ship and all on board services – including the casino – will stay open while berthed at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

All installations and experiences on the island, which lies 20 miles (32 km) south of Bimini and just 65 miles (104.5 km) east of Miami, Florida, will be fully sympathetic to the culture and traditions of the Bahamas. A comprehensive landscaping plan will see more than 80 indigenous Caribbean trees, grasses, flowers and shrubs, such as Jamaica Dogwood, Red, Black and White Mangroves, and Beach Morning Glory, expertly planted across the island. There will be an architecturally faithful Bahamian village, plentiful restaurants and bars offering local specialties, a variety of shops and an inviting arrival center with island-themed music gazebo.
 
For MSC Yacht Club guests, an exclusive spa and wellness sanctuary with private bungalows and massage huts has been designated to the northwest corner of the island.
 
Also, getting around the island will be a breeze, thanks to a network of walking and running paths, bicycle rentals and other stress-free transport options. 
 
Other highlights such as must-have water sports and beach games include:
 
• A family beach with kids’ restaurant, play areas and other useful facilities
• A charming inland lagoon for absolute tranquillity
• A thrilling zip wire crossing the island
• A pavilion for weddings and celebrations


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Thursday, September 22, 2016

American Queen Steamboat Company Aquires New Mississippi River Ship - American Duchess To Premier June 2017

American Queen Steamship Company's New American Duchess - June 2017
American Queen Steamship Company's New American Duchess - June 2017
Currently turning away customers due to lack of capacity, American Queen Steamboat Co. has purchased a former casino riverboat that it will rebuild and upgrade into a boutique vessel for Mississippi operations, starting in June. The ship is currently named the Isle of Capri Casino Boat - Located in Bettendorf, IA.

After an extensive Refit, the American Duchess will carry 166 passengers in all-suite accommodations with single, open-seating dining. Standard outside rooms will measure 240 square feet with suites a roomy 550 square feet.

 The accommodations will be built out from scratch. There will be three owner's suites of 550 square feet and four loft suites, also 550 square feet. The loft suites will have 300 square feet of space on the main level and 250 square feet on the mezzanine, which will house the sleeping area, and very large windows. Inside suites will measure 180 square feet.

The vessel was built in 1995. The ship features 19 foot high ceilings There are no columns to obstruct the decks, making for a big open platform AQSC can build out from the steel.

The boat is about 300 feet long, or 100 feet shorter than American Queen. This allows it to go into smaller rivers, like the Illinois. The width and height are about equal to American Queen.

The exterior of American Duchess will look very much like that larger vessel, with wedding cake filigree, fold-down stacks and the paddlewheel. The interiors will be more contemporary, with walnut finishes and 'ultra-premium fit and finish.'

2017 Cruises are expected to go on sales in the next 30 days.



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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

VIDEO: Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas Conveyance In March 2015

In the post from yesterday we spoke about the conveyance of the Genting's Dream Cruises' Genting Dream.

Here is a video published by Meyer Werft - the cruise ship builder in Papenburg, Germany - showing the conveyance of Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas in March of 2015.


Fact Sheet For The Conveyance of Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas
Fact Sheet For The Conveyance of Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas - Source Royal Caribbean.

See the 10 hours procedure as the ship is backed down the Ems River from Papenburg to the North Sea.

Hope you enjoy the video.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Genting's Dream Cruises' New Genting Dream Makes Her Way to the North Sea.


Dream Cruises - New Genting Dream at Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany
Dream Cruises - New Genting Dream at Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany - Photo Credit: Meyer Werft

Dream Cruises New 151,300 ton, Genting Dream has started her conveyance journey down the Ems River in Papenburg, Germany. The conveyance is when the ships navigates backwards down the river toward her final destination - the North Sea. The ship navigates backward because the forcing of the water underneath the ship by the azipod propulsion system actually lifts the vessel and allow for additional clearance between the hull and the river bottom. The entire conveyance takes about 12 hours depending on the tides.

The Genting Dream which is being built by Germany's Meyer Werft will undergo sea trials and final outfitting  before being handed over to her new owners on October 12, 2016.

The Genting Dream is expected to conduct her inaugural cruise from Asia in November, 2016.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Nicks Cruise Corner Flash Back: Chandris Cruises Amerikanis.

We are starting a new segment covering ships from the past.

In today's installment - we are featuring Chandris Cruise's Amerikanis.

Chandris Cruises Amerikanis
Chandris Cruises - Amerikanis.  

Built initially as Union Castle Line's Kenya Castle (1952) - later becoming Chandris Cruise's Amerikanis after a major rebuilding (1967). She sailed for Chandris until 1997 and was scrapped in 2001 in Alang, India. Popular itineraries for the ship included New York to Bermuda cruises, Caribbean Cruises from San Juan and finally cruising throughout the Med and Northern Europe.

Tonnage:  19,904 GT


Length: 576 ft 
Beam: 74 ft 3 in 
Draft: 26 ft 6 in 
Decks: 8
Speed: 17.5 knots (service speed)
Capacity: 920 (from 1967)
Crew: 400  

Chandris Cruises Amerikanis ex Kenya Castle - As seen in a Postard View.
Chandris Cruises Amerikanis ex Kenya Castle - As seen in a Postard View.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Star Cruises SuperStar Libra Deployed to Malaysia


Star Cruises SuperStar Libra Deployed to Malaysia
Star Cruises SuperStar Libra Deployed to Malaysia
Star Cruises announced the return of the SuperStar Libra to Penang, Malaysia.
The SuperStar Libra will homeport in Penang from Sept. 23 2016 to Dec. 31 2017.
Cruise will vary in length from one-night preview cruises to three night cruises calling in Phuket and Krabi.

The 1,400-passenger SuperStar Libra features amenities such as a karaoke lounge, outdoor swimming pool and a number of specialty restaurants. On-board entertainment and leisure programs cater the interests of all ages and group sizes, with the magic spectacular presented by Alain Dupont from Paris, as well as “One in a Million”, a choreographed production.

The SuperStar Libra started off her career in 1988 as Norwegian Cruise Line's Seward and then later becoming the Norwegian Sea before being transferred to Star Cruises.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

MSC Cruises Names Its Next New Build


MSC Cruises Announces the Name of Its 2018 New Build - MSC Bellissima
MSC Cruises Announces the Name of Its 2018 New Build - MSC Bellissima

While just floating out one of their newest Mega-ships - the MSC Meravigilia - MSC Cruises has announced the name of it's next cruise vessel. The next Meraviglia-class cruise ship. She will be called MSC  Bellissima and will enter service in the spring of 2019.

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises ceo, commented: 'MSC Bellissima is a name that embodies the beauty and the magnificence of this entire next generation of MSC Cruises ultramodern mega-ships, so rich with new features and amenities for guests of all ages and interests.'

Additional information on the MSC Bellissima will be released as the ship nears completion.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Costa Concordia Wreck Moved to Drydock for Final Dismantling.


Costa Cruises Costa Concordia During Happier Times.
Costa Cruises Costa Concordia During Happier Times.
The final remains of the Costa Concordia were moved into a drydock in Genoa on September 1st.
For the past year, the ship was methodically dismantled removing furnishing and decks one by one.
Thirteen decks have been removed but 2-3 decks still remain. Since alot of the machinery still remain in the hull, the remaining hull is estimated to weigh 60,000 tons.

The vessel was moved into a drydock in the port of Genoa. The operation went extremely smooth with the aid of 6 tugs, taking just over 2 hours to complete. The remaining hull was a tight fit into the drydock with only 40 cm to spare on each side and underneath the hull. As planned, on the same day, the drydock was sealed and the hull came to rest on the bottom of the drydock, after all of the water was pumped out.

Dismantling of the remains is expected to take 6-8 months.

HISTORY

On 13 January 2012 at 21:45, in calm seas and overcast weather, under command of Captain Francesco Schettino, Costa Concordia struck a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea just off the eastern shore of Isola del Giglio, on the western coast of Italy about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Rome. This tore open a 50 m (160 ft) gash on the port side of her hull, which soon flooded parts of the engine room resulting in power losses, leading to a loss of propulsion and loss of electrical systems, which crippled the ship. With water flooding in and listing, the ship drifted back to Giglio Island where she grounded 500 m (550 yd) north of the village of Giglio Porto, resting on her starboard side in shallow waters with most of her starboard side under water

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Invests in Two New Expedition Vessels.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises New 5-Star Expedition Vessel
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises New 5-Star Expedition Vessel


Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: “The former director Albert Ballin invented the modern cruise concept 125 years ago. We are perfectly positioned in the luxury market with our cruise ships “EUROPA” and “EUROPA 2”. In this anniversary year, we are charting the course for the future. Already we operate successfully in our expedition segment, which offers growth potential for 5-star cruises. Our new-builds will help us to develop further the expedition segment and offer a modern interpretation. They will also serve to strengthen our leading position in this market, in particular at the international level.”
 
The two ships will be built at the Norwegian Vard shipyard of Vard Holdings Limited, a shareholding of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard. The vessels will be equipped with state-of-the-art technological features and environmental technology. With PC6, the highest Polar Class designation for passenger ships, they will be able to cruise not only in polar regions in the Arctic and Antarctica but also in warm water destinations such as the Amazon. On-board Zodiacs will allow landings in otherwise inaccessible expedition areas. The ships will also feature a water sports marina.
 
Further information on the new-builds
5-star expedition segment
  • One new-build to serve German-speaking markets (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)
  • Other new-build to serve German-speaking markets and in addition Belgium, the UK, Netherlands and the US.

    Identical ships, data for each ship:
  • GT 16,100
  • Length: 138 metres
  • Width: 22 metres
  • Draught: 5.4 metres
  • Passenger decks: 7
  • Cabins and suites: 120
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 240 persons
  • Crew: Up to 170 crew members
  • High ratio of balcony cabins
  • Restaurants: 3
  • Modern spa and fitness area
  • Interior design: Architecture firm Oceanarchitects

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Monday, September 12, 2016

MSC Meraviglia Is Floated Out.




MSC Cruises - MSC Meraviglia - Floated Out St. Nazaire France.
On September 2nd, 2016, MSC Cruises celebrated the float out of the first next-generation vessel MSC Meraviglia at STX France's yard in St Nazaire,
 
Key on-board features on the  include, the specially designed Carousel Lounge where Cirque du Soleil artists will perform shows created exclusively for MSC Cruises guests, a 96mtr-long Mediterranean-style promenade with an 80mtr LED Sky that runs through the centre of the ship as well as an enhanced MSC Yacht Club, with its own private facilities spanning three decks.

The 5700 passenger MSC Meraviglia  will enter service in June 2017 and demand for the MSC Meraviglia’s inaugural season in the Western Mediterranean, has been extremely encouraging.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Cruise Vessel Ocean Gala Now for Sale or Charter

 
Ocean Gala Being Offered for Sale
Ocean Gala Being Offered for Sale
Readers: Recently I received this announcement stating that the Ocean Gala is being offered for sale. 
The Ocean Gala previously operated as the Scandinavia, Stardancer, Viking Serenade, Island Escape and most recently the Ocean Gala. Here is the email....
 
Owners are now ready to accept any reasonable offer on the M/V Ocean Gala. This former RCCL Cruise vessel with 1750 passenger capacity for world wide trading, is currently laying in Northern Sweden, where she was ordered and contracted in by the Swedish Government to assist in their housing needs of incoming refugees. Due to the major reduction in arriving refugees, The Swedish Migration Board, is not utilizing their contracted facilities. The owners have therefore decided to take drastic measures to mitigate their damages. 

We are therefore encouraging any reasonable offer for sale/hire-purchase or straight charter.

She has recently completed her 5 year survey with DnvGL and is ready for immediate deployment.  

Brief Descriptions as follows, with full vessel details to named interested parties. 
Ocean Gala
  • 768 CABIN SHIP for accommodation additional cabins
  • Current Name: m/v OCEAN GALA
  • Prior Name: Island Escape Viking Serenade, Stardancer, Scandinavia
  • About 40,171 gt
  • Bahamas flag
  • Built December 1982 Dubigeon Normandie, France
  • Converted to cruise ship in 1991 in South West Marine, U.S.A. - Class GL +1A1 passenger ship
  • 185.26m LOA
  • 27m Beam
  • 7.22m draft
  • 768 cabins for accommodations additional cabins
  • About 1520 lower berths
  • About 1840 all berths for accommodations dockside up to 2100 - Main engines 2 x B+W 9L55GFCA about 27000 bhp total
  • About 18 knots cruising speed
  • Bowthrusters 2 x Lips 883 kW each

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