NCL Corporation (“NCL”) today announced the sale of Marco Polo, from its Orient Lines brand effective March 23, 2008.
Marco Polo is presently owned by Star Cruises along with two other mid-sized vessels also operated on charter by NCL, Norwegian Dream and Norwegian Majesty.
“Marco Polo has an extremely loyal following and the Orient Lines brand is unique in what it offers,” said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL Corporation. “It has been an important part of our business during the transition from the old NCL to the new NCL with the youngest fleet in the industry by the end of this year.
“We have said for the past two years that all of our older ships would progressively leave the fleet as our new, purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships arrived. The timing of Marco Polo's departure always revolved around finding a good next owner, and I am pleased to say we have found one. This unique ship will, from the summer of 2008, have a new lease of life serving a new market under an established brand. The new owner will be announcing the acquisition very soon."
Marco Polo's famously friendly and family-like Filipino crew will continue to delight Orient Lines guests through to the delivery of the ship to her new owner. After that, they will be welcomed into new opportunities within the rest of the NCL fleet.
NCL will shortly announce details of a comprehensive on-board program for the farewell season of the Marco Polo. Marco Polo’s final cruise will be the March 2, 2008 repositioning cruise from Rio de Janeiro to Lisbon, Portugal.
In the coming weeks, the hundreds of thousands of loyal Polo Club members who have sailed on Marco Polo over the years will be invited and enticed to come and enjoy her warm home-away-from-home atmosphere one last time.
NCL Corporation Ltd. is an innovative cruise company headquartered in Miami, Florida, with a fleet of 14 ships in service and under construction. The corporation oversees the operations of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America, and Orient Lines. The company recently took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Pearl, and is currently building Norwegian Gem for delivery in October of 2007.
In addition, NCL plans to build up to three new third generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery between 2009 and 2011. NCL is on target to have the youngest fleet in the industry by the end of 2007 with the introduction of Norwegian Gem, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.