Madrid-based Pullmantur has purchased the 38,772-ton, 1,180-passenger Oceanic from DLJ Capital Funding for between $24-$25 million.

According to Johan Tyreo, advisor to the general manager at Pullmantur, the Oceanic will be drydocked in Cadiz, Spain, then placed into seven-night Mediterranean service from Barcelona beginning on May 21. The ship will be repositioned to the Caribbean for the winter season.

Pullmantur is also looking at other ex-Premier Cruise Line vessels, including the Seawind Crown, which it had previously chartered. Tyreo said that Pullmantur's claims on that ship, which remains arrested in Barcelona, will be resolved shortly. Ultimately, he explained, "The group intends to own its second ship by summer 2002, and to own three ships by 2005."

Pullmantur owns 51 percent of Spanair, a 45-plane airline, as well as 50 percent of HotelTur, a 27-property hotel group. Overall, Pullmantur's customer base derives from Spain, Portugal, France, South America and Latin America. The cruise clientele will be primarily Spanish.