Last of the R-Class Vessels

Spanish operator Pullmantur is rumored to be near a deal to charter the 684-passenger R6 for the summer, which would make it the second R-class ship in their fleet. Already, Pullmantur charters the Blue Dream (ex-R5). Meanwhile, shipowner CruiseInvest has just signed a 14-year lease/purchase agreement with German operator Delphin Seereisen for the R7, which will be renamed the Delphin Renaissance. Delphin is the long­ time operator of the 1975-built, 500-passenger Delphin; according to sources, that ship's owner is in talks with budget newcomer Ocean Club Cruises to charter the vessel.

As far as the remaining R-class deployments, Oceania Cruises has announced a last-minute ship switch. The R2, which was originally dubbed Insignia and put into a sub-charter for TMG France, will be renamed Regatta and placed into startup operations under the Oceania brand beginning July 5. Meanwhile, the R1 will be renamed Insignia and be put into service for TMG, then join the Oceania brand next spring. According to a spokesperson for Oceania, "Our vessels are identical in every respect and the change was executed to provide our guests with a flawless product as our fust ship enters service. Both ships will operate in full compliance with all international safety and health regulations."

The R3 and R4 were previously sold to Princess Cruises, and the R8 is on a seven-year charter to Swan Hellenic Cruises.  

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