Ambassador cruise line
Updated: 19 hours ago
One could say that out of the ashes of the Covid crisis that cost the life of Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV), a new company emerged, and it's called Ambassador cruise line. The company has a fleet of 2 ships at the moment and although we were booked on the first voyage of the first ship Ambience in 2022, due to her delay, we weren't able to make it and had to cancel.
At the moment of writing, both the Ambience and Ambition seem to do well in their new company and I will certainly try to capture them from time to time and maybe travel on them, but for now I was only able to capture Ambition in Antwerp on her first visit.
Short short history of both ships:
Sitmar Cruises had ordered a new ship that would be called Sitmar Fair Majesty in 1988 at Chantiers de l' Atlantique in France and they wanted to order 2 more ships, however, the Italian government wanted them to be built in an Italian shipyard and so the design of the ship was taken as a basis for a redesign by Renzo Piano who created a similar layout for the 2 new ships but a radically changed exterior design with futuristic elements. These ships were ordered at Fincantieri in Italy. Sitmar however was sold to the P&O group while all 3 of the ships were still under construction, so P&O decided to place all 3 ships under their Princess Cruises brand as Star Princess, Crown Princess and Regal Princess respectively. Regal Princess entered service in 1991 and continued in this role until 2007. She was then renamed Pacific Dawn and transferred to the fleet of P&O Australia where she remained until P&O announced in 2019 that she would be sold to CMV to become their Amy Johnson ... and then in 2020 the Covid crisis hit hard! CMV didn't survive so this plan fell through and she was instead sold to a dubious company to become a bitcoin-ship in Panama, however this also failed and the ship came very close to being sold for scrap, however ... at the last minute she was acquired by a new British startup, we now know this startup to be Ambassador Cruise Line and she was renamed Ambience and given a complete refit before her first voyage in 2022.
Festival Cruises was a Greek owned cruise operator that had a fleet of older second hand ships, by 1999 they had ordered and taken delivery of their first newly built ship called Mistral, the first of a series of at least 3 ships. However ... Festival Cruises didn't survive in the long run and by 2004 they were bankrupt and all ships were sold off. The Mistral would become the Grand Mistral for Iberojet and started sailing in 2005. In 2013 she was transferred to Costa as Festival was by now part of the Carnival group under a joint venture setup. She was renamed Costa neoRiviera and started sailing for Costa in their smaller ship section. in 2019 however she was transferred to another brand in the Carnival group, this time to the German based AIDA Cruises to become AIDAmira. This however was short lived as she only started her first cruise for AIDA in December 2019 and by early 2020, the Covid crisis hit hard and she was laid up at anchor in Tenerife (see below for my photo of her during this time). During this time, AIDA decided to sell the ship and she was sold in early 2022 to Ambassador Cruise Line to become their second ship called Ambition. Initially the Scottish government chartered her to house refugees from the war in Ukraine and docked her in Glasgow. Finally in May 2023 she was officially named and started cruising for Ambassador.
I managed to Capture Ambition when she was still AIDAmira while she was at anchor in Tenerife during the Covid period in 2021 as you can see below, I wasn't able to get close so I had to use the zoom lens to get her.
By 2023, I was able to get the first visit of the Ambition to Antwerp with my drone on a very sunny autumn day, see the results here.
More coming when possible!