Vision Cruises has ceased operations, Cruise Industry News has learned.

"They simply couldn't fill their vessels," according to a source close to Vision, who added that the Madrid-based company has officially closed its doors.

Vision faced its share of challenges since announcing its 2009 cruise plans last summer, when it originally expected to charter three ships, two of which were slated to sail in the Mediterranean and the third in Cuba and Mexico.

Downward Spiral

In December 2008, Vision's Board Director Dennis Nuza announced that the plans were cut back to two ships. "I am not surprised at all," said the source.

 "Sure, there are problems in the U.S. and the UK, but one of the worst countries hit by the recession is Spain. And when you add to that all of this new capacity in the market - not only from Pullmantur and Iberocruceros - but big guys like Costa, MSC and Royal also have a Spanish presence. What could (Spain) possibly do with all those ships right now?"

One of the ships, previously named the Vision Star, has since been renamed the Gemini, and is chartered by another Spanish operator, Quail Cruises. The Star will sail out of Valencia in April and May. Quail also sails with the Pacific out of Valencia through October.