Kloster Cruise is moving the Seaward into three- and four-day service starting April 4, 1994, taking over after the Westward which will be transferred to Royal Cruise Line.
Norwegian Cruise Line will operate the 42,000-ton, 1,534-passenger Seaward, built in 1988, from new terminal facilities in Miami, calling at Nassau and NCL's private island in the Bamahas on the three-day itinerary, and Key West, Cozumel and Cancun on the four-day itinerary.
The Westward will be renamed Star Odyssey and will be operated by Royal Cruise Line on seven to 15-day sailings "throughout North America" following a $30 million dollar refurbishment.
RCL will restore single-seating dining aboard the Star Odyssey and will reduce passenger capacity to 750 from the Westward's 829. Plans also call for remodeling of all public rooms and staterooms as well as the addition of new lounges, whirlpools and casual dining venues. In addition, RCL will also maintain its distinctive features, including Greek officers and crew, according to a spokesperson for the line.
Jim Naik, President of RCL, described the cruise line as offering a unique niche of affordable, single-seat luxury cruising.
Knut Kloster, Jr. Chairman of Kloster Cruise commented that RCL was doing well and that the ship was better suited for RCL than NCL. It will boost RCL capacity by about 33 percent.
The Star Odyssey takes over the Golden Odyssey's itineraries in North America, beginning with a Panama Canal and a Mexican Riviera cruise followed by a summer of Alaska cruises. Subsequent Panama Canal and Colonial America cruises will reposition the ship for a season of fall foliage cruises throughout New England and Canada.
The 28,000-ton, 750-passenger Star Odyssey was built in 1972 as the 740-passenger Royal Viking Sky and was transferred to NCL and renamed the Westward in 1991.
The Westward sailed seven-day cruises from New York to Bermuda during the summers and seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Los Angeles during the rest of the year. She later replaced the Sunward sailing three- and four-day cruises from Port Everglades.
Royal Cruise Line has seen strong capacity expansion since being acquired by Kloster Cruise in 1989 when the line operated the 1,052-passenger Crown Odyssey, built in 1988, and the 472-passenger Golden Odyssey, built in 1974, with an estimated annual capacity of 38,100 passengers per year.
In 1991, the former Royal Viking Sea was transferred to RCL and became the 765-passenger Royal Odyssey. Fleet capacity increased to 57,225 passengers.
In 1994, RCL will have four ships, with 3,039 berths and estimated capacity of 75,975 passengers.
NCL will operate the 2,022-passenger Norway, the 758-passenger Starward, the 1,246-passenger Dreamward and the 1,246-passenger Windward on seven-day cruises; and the 1,534-passenger Seaward and the 752-passenger Southward on three- and four-day cruises.
The fleet changes have also meant port changes for NCL and a larger percentage of capacity deployed in the short cruise market. By 1994, NCL will have the Norway and the Seaward in Miami; the Starward and Southward in Los Angeles; the Dreamward in Port Everglades and New York; and the Windward in San Juan and Alaska.
In 1994, with a fleet of six ships and 7,558 berths, NCL will have an estimated capacity of 492,200 passengers, but with 465 percent in the short-cruise market.
RVL will continue to operate the 740-passenger Royal Viking Sun, built in 1988, and the 212-passenger Royal Viking Queen, built in 1992, with an estimated annual passenger capacity of 23,800.
Thus, total Kloster Cruise fleet capacity in 1994/95 should be approximately 591,975.