Commodore Holdings is moving forward with its plans to resurrect Crown Cruise Line with the long-term charter of the 20,000-ton, 820-passenger Crown Dynasty (ex-Norwegian Dynasty) beginning in October. According to Commodore, the charter agreement with ship owner Neptun Maritime OY includes an option for the vessel's purchase, but at press time, Commodore's President Jim Sullivan could not give specifics of the deal, nor the overall length of the charter. "There are still certain things to be worked out," he said.

A number of important announcements on the Crown brand were pending at press time, for release in the coming days or weeks, according to Sullivan -­ including announcements concerning ship deployment, strategic partnership agreements, and possibly even further fleet expansion.

Asked whether he envisioned the new Crown product as a one-ship line, Sullivan asserted, "Definitely not - we want it to be more than that." Word on additional tonnage to be incorporated under the Crown name could be announced "quite soon," he said.

Sullivan confirmed that the Crown Dynasty would undergo a drydocking with some work on the ship during its transfer from Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) to Commodore. He also confirmed that the ship would be marketed in the premium versus the contemporary sector. "I think the ship is operating in the range comparable to Holland America Line and Princess Cruises right now, and we don't intend to sell it at any less (of a price and amenity range) than it is now," he said.

In general, explained Sullivan, "Our philosophy since day one has been to continue to explore and develop niche markets, and to enter partnerships in those niche markets whenever possible." He believes the new premium-brand Crown Cruise Line project may well entail a partnership agreement between Commodore and another party.