Crown Cruise Line has announced the purchase of the remaining 50 percent interest in the Crown Monarch at an undisclosed price. Crown Cruise Line and the Crown Monarch are now owned fully by Commodore Cruise Line, according to a spokesperson for that line. Commodore is owned by the Finnish-Swedish EffJohn Group.
Palm Beach Cruises, meanwhile, will continue to operate one-day cruises from Palm Beach with the Viking Princess. Palm Beach Cruises is owned by Grundstad Maritime which also owned Crown Cruise Line and the Crown Monarch before selling the brand name and half interest in the ship to Commodore last summer. Commodore subsequently made Crown its upscale division.
The 530-passenger Crown Monarch was built in 1991. This July, Crown Cruise Line takes delivery of the new 20,000-ton, 820-passenger Crown Jewel, now being completed by Union Naval de Levante, and its sister ship, the Crown Dynasty, in spring 1993. Each ship is being built at an approximate cost of $100 million.
According to David Christopher, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Crown will be marketing all three ships by the end of the year, tripling its original capacity.
Christopher also said that in 1993, Crown would likely go into more longer cruises, 10- and 11-day, including transcanal cruises, because of the general saturation in the Caribbean. Crown sailings will originate in Palm Beach, New York, Acapulco and Los Angeles.
He noted that the line has already expanded its program this fall to include transcanal cruises between Palm Beach and Acapulco for the Crown Monarch.
The acquisition of the Crown Monarch also means that Commodore and Crown will be sharing all administrative, sales and marketing and operations functions, Christopher said. He also expected that the sales staff would be expanded towards the end of the year.
The officers of the new ships will be Northern European and the hotel staff mostly Filipino, according to a spokesperson.
Christopher said he hoped to position the Crown product "in the same ballpark, or a little above, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Cruise Line."