An investor group of American and Norwegian partners signed a $114 million contract with Cantiere Navale Ferrari shipyard last week for its second set of four, 100-passenger yacht-like cruise ships that will be marketed in North America.
President Johan-Lyng Olsen of Fearnley Eger confirmed that the contract was signed and that an American sales office would eventually market the ships here.
While Lyng-Olsen said that Fearnley Eger will manage all commercial and technical operations for the cruise line, he refused to disclose either where the North American sales office would be located or those American "individuals" involved in the eight ship venture.
Lyng-Olsen did say, however, that at least some of the ships would be positioned in the Caribbean market and that per diems would range from $300 to $450 on the 3,000-ton, 275-foot vessels.
Lyng-Olsen said that all the ships must be registered under the Italian flag in return for state subsidies up to 28 percent under European Economic Community (EEC) guidelines. He added that all ships will also be required to have Italian officers and hotel and catering staffs and will have a total of 52 to 54 crew.
The new ships will each be five-decks high and will carry a launch from the stern of the ship that will be similar to the 120-passenger shore launch on the 250-passenger Explorer Starship of Exploration Cruises. Lyng-Olsen noted that Fearnley Eger owns both the Explorer Starship and the 158-passenger North Star and charters the ship to Exploration.
Lyng-Olsen said that the cruise line expects to launch its first vessel in the United States in May 1989 and then introduce the next seven ships in three month intervals.