Festival Cruises has joined forces with TransMediterranea and Iberojet to launch Spanish Cruise Line, which will target the Spanish market with the 900-passenger Bolero starting in May 2001.

Festival's Bolero will be chartered to the new company and will launch seven-day cruises from Barcelona for the summer season. A winter program will be offered in the Caribbean.

Plans call for expansion and talks are already said to be underway for newbuildings designed for the Spanish market.

Transmediterranea owns a fleet of more than 25 ferries and carried more than four million passengers in 1999; Iberojet, a tour operator, carried 800,000 customers in 1999 and also owns 250 travel agencies through a sister company, hotels and an airline.

Transmediterranea had previously tried to launch a cruise line with other partners, one of which was Norwegian Cruise Line.

The Bolero has recently been chartered to First Choice.