With the ex-Renaissance Cruises fleet largely accounted for, there now appears to be additional movement in the second-hand market.
The 610-passenger Pacific Princess purchased from Princess Cruises by an investor group is reportedly being sold in turn to Pullmantur of Spain, which will position the ship in the Caribbean. Pullmantur previously purchased the Oceanic, and charters the R5 for the summer season under the name Blue Dream with both of those ships sailing in the Mediterranean.
In other news, World Explorer Cruises INC. has formed a new Jomt venture company - World Explorer Cruises LTD. - together with Silja Line.
Representing its capital investment in the deal, Silja will contribute its 725-passenger cruise ship Enchanted Isle, which will be renamed the Universe Ambassador and will begin sailing in May 2003. Both Silja and World Explorer will contribute funds to expand the operation and refurbish the vessel. World Explorer previously operated the Universe Explorer (ex-Enchanted Seas), which as of 2003 will be operated year-round by the Semester at Sea program.
Previously only offering itineraries for part of the year, World Explorer will expand to a full-year operation with the arrival of the new vessel, sailing its traditional summers in Alaska and winters in Central America - plus new itineraries including Pacific Rim voyages and a world cruise in 2004.
Finally, a controversial idea has been floated for the use of the lower end of the second-hand market: Officials of the City of New York have surveyed the ex-Premier Cruise Lines ships Rembrandt, filg Red Boat II, and Big Red Boat ill for possible use as "floating homeless shelters."