A classic 1990s cruise ship was revived and created waves in the cruise industry yesterday as its re-entry into the U.K. celebrated the launch of the Uk’s first new cruise line in over ten years. She is currently resting in her new homeport of Tilbury, England until she takes on the high seas as a reestablished cruise ship.
The ship was renamed ‘Ambiance’; although she is two weeks behind schedule due to shipping delays caused by the pandemic, Ambiance is set to take her maiden voyage next week. The ship got introduced to the world in 1991 and acted as a model for cruise ships built by Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard. The architect of the vessel, Renzo Piano, said that he designed her after being inspired by dolphins. The vessel was then ordered by Sitmar Cruises, an early entrant in the modern U.S. cruise industry, alongside the design of her sister ship.
After purchasing the ships, Sitmar Cruises merged into P&O’s U.S. brand Princess Cruises; the ship was rebranded with Crown Princess and her sister ship Regal Princess. The early 1990s represented a time when the sister ships were among the largest cruise ships in the world. The Regal Princess cruised with Princess till 2007 before being transferred to the Australian P&O Cruises, where she would sail till 2020 as the Pacific Dawn.
Before the pandemic, CMV was a popular UK-based cruise line quickly expanding. After declaring insolvency in the summer of 2020, its fleet was eventually sold at auction. The company had agreed to buy two cruise ships from Carnival Corporation, one being the Pacific Dawn. To their dismay, neither of the vessels got delivered. Administration from the dissolved CMV was able to acquire assets, including the marketing database, and announced plans to launch their new company, Ambassador Cruise Line, in 2022.
When looking for ships, the newly branded Ambassador Cruise Line stayed committed to their wants and obtained the former Regal Princess from Panama developers; besides being a nod to the 90s-era cruise lines, Ambiance is also the last link to the once established Sitmar brand.
In contrast to modern cruise lines, the Ambassador Cruise Line does not seek to entertain passengers with experiences like water slides. Instead, the cruise line is heading an adult-only marketing plan, with the company saying it will provide “an authentic cruise experience,” focusing on the premium-value market.
After having escaped the scrappers of Panama, the renamed Ambiance is set to take sail on April 20, 2022. Many cruisers are waiting eagerly for her return as management sits back confidently in their marketing decisions. Before even entering service, the Ambassador Cruise Line purchased a second cruise ship from Carnival Corporation that they plan to put in service in 2023 named Ambition.