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Ambassador Cruise Line Set to Launch in the UK

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A new cruise line is coming to the British market. Ambassador Cruise Line claims that it’s the first new British cruise line since 2010, with sales commencing in June and its inaugural cruises beginning in Spring 2022.

According to a press release, Ambassador Cruise Line will offer a “premium-value, authentic cruise experience, sailing for the British market from its homeport of London Tilbury.”

It will offer no-fly itineraries aimed primarily at the over 50’s market. Ambassador’s first ship, the Ambience, is designed to carry approximately 1,400 guests.

It has 798 cabins, a selection of five restaurants including speciality dining options as well as two cafes, nine lounges, a swimming pool, spa, day and evening entertainment, fitness and leisure facilities complemented by enticing enrichment and lifestyle programmes.

The maiden season for the Ambience is scheduled for Apr. 6, 2022, with an inaugural short break cruise to Hamburg, before embarking on a mixed itinerary programme with sailings to the Norwegian Fjords and the British Isles planned throughout spring.

The first full year program operating until May 2023 will consist of 33 sailings visiting a total of 88 different ports, featuring the Baltics and St Petersburg, Greenland, the Arctic, and Iceland, whilst for the winter months, a range of expedition-style voyages will sail to the Canaries, Cuba, the Caribbean, Cape Verde and Scandinavia.

The Ambience (Photo: Ambassador Cruise Line)

Through funds managed by Njord Partners LLP, London the company is fully equity-financed (no financial debt), Ambassador said. The Chair of the Board of Directors is Gordon Wilson who has over 30 years of experience in the global travel industry including as the President and CEO of Travelport until July 2019. He is a member of the Supervisory Board of BCD Holdings which owns a global corporate travel management company, BCD Travel.

Ambassador says that it has an extremely experienced management team, including several team members who were previously with Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) led by CEO, Christian Verhounig supported by CCO, Christopher Coates, CIO, Gary Hides and CFO, Simon Weeks.

"We are hugely excited to launch the first British cruise line in over a decade. It is just what the industry needs right now to reboot the British cruise market and inject confidence into the sector. Ambassador Cruise Line offers the best of British cruising – we’re a new company offering a distinctive product but maintaining traditional cruising values which we know are important to our guests,” Wilson said.

“This is just the beginning. We have ambitious growth plans, and the travel industry is a crucial partner in this. We’re looking forward to working collaboratively with agents, partners and the shipping community. Investment on this scale and the launch of such a significant business as we emerge from the pandemic will make a significant contribution to the local economy and travel industry, particularly as we look to fill at least 100 jobs from the UK,” he added.

Ambassador’s proposition is to bring back the joy of cruising in ships that look and feel like cruise ships and which take environmental responsibility seriously. As such, prior to its first voyage, the Ambience will be upgraded with emission reduction technologies to be IMO Tier III compliant prior to the start of the cruising season.

She will not only adhere to the latest updated rules regarding emission reductions (Tier II from Jan. 1, 2022, in certain NOX Emission Control areas) but will already be compliant with rules which will come into force by Jan. 1, 2025 (Tier III of the IMO NOX regulations – aiming to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 70 percent compared to the Tier II standards).

In addition, the Ambience will be equipped and outfitted with the latest ballast and sewage water treatment systems enabling her to sail in all seas, including those strictly environmentally protected. Single-use plastic onboard has been eliminated, and technology has been used as an innovative alternative to printing menus, shore plans and activity schedules.

The huge investment in this area means the Ambience will be an innovator in its class and fully Tier III compliant, Ambassador stated.

“Treating our guests right is not just about the booking and onboard experience. In accordance with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, we have insurance cover in place to financially protect all guests booking with Ambassador Cruise Line. In addition, we will operate a fully compliant independent Trust Account where guests’ funds are deposited and only released when the cruise departs. Our offer also includes a booking guarantee in the event we are forced to cancel a cruise,” the cruise line wrote.

Ambassador will also operate a policy whereby all guests and crew will need to be vaccinated prior to setting sail to provide that additional peace of mind.

Indicative prices for a seven-night European cruise departing from London Tilbury are £850 per person on a full-board basis. Detailed prices for individual cruise itineraries will be available in June 2021 including some introductory offers. A 68-page brochure will also be launched.

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