The newly-formed Venus Cruise Lines will start operations August 15, when its first ship, Venus Venturer, begins her year-round, one-day sailings to the Bahamas from Port Everglades. The ship originally was scheduled to sail from Port Canaveral but was repositioned when berth space became unavailable, after Scandinavian World Cruises expanded its series of one-day sailings there according to Steve Solomon, Venus' assistant to the president.
Due for delivery August 7-9, the Venus Venturer is being refurbished in Valencia, Spain for more than $15 million. Upon completion, the 11,791-ton, 1,371-passenger ship will have seven lounges, a two-story casino, two restaurants, a gourmet French dining room, a full gym, jacuzzi, 150-seat conference center, and special cabins for meetings. It will sail under the Panamanian flag, and be the first foreign vessel to sail with an all-American staff and crew.
According to Solomon, the sailings will be marketed as "Sea break Cruises," and sell for $89, with three meals and port taxes included in the price.
Solomon said that while the line expects to draw a "wide range of passengers, from families to senior citizens, it also is "very interested in attracting group business, and actively is pursuing the pre- and post-convention markets."
Solomon also said that plans to offer a monthly overnight cruise to the Bahama Islands still are being finalized, and plans for a second ship, to be brought on line after the first year of operations, also are being considered.
Venus Cruise Lines is publicly owned, and is the first cruise line to be founded by women. Two of its founders, Caroline Burk and Sophie Kanossky - are Chairman of the Board and Secretary Treasurer, respectively. Mr. Dean Hofmeister is president.