The 5,000gt Victory II—built as Cape Cod Light and recently called Sea Discoverer—will be upgraded to the high standards of Victory I and sail its inaugural voyage from Gloucester (near Boston) on May 20, 2018, according to Bruce Nierenberg, president and ceo, Victory Cruise Lines. The refurbishment is planned for this fall in Europe with bids currently being solicited.
Like Victory I, the vessel was acquired from Bahamas-based Clipper Group by three European private investors, including Copenhagen's Albatros Travel, which operates expedition cruises and tours around the world. The price was not disclosed. Cruise Management International, led by Jim Barreiro de León, will provide deck and engine management while sister company CMI Leisure, led by Dietmar Wertanzl, will handle hotel operations.
Victory II is to begin service with a series of seven-night Canada/New England cruises. The open-jaw itineraries between Gloucester, Massachusetts, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, include Provincetown on Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; Plymouth, Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Cape Cod; Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; and Lunenburg, Nova Scotia; with scenic cruising in the Cape Cod Canal.
'Our goal is to be the first choice in cruising the Great Lakes, Canada, the St. Lawrence Seaway and New England markets by offering the finest cuisine and hotel product on board, along with memorable and unique destination experiences that stand above and beyond the rest,' Nierenberg said. 'We have dedicated significant time, resources and effort to make sure that our guests are able to explore and participate in the real essence of these communities and their people.'
In addition to the New England cruises, Victory II will feature several 10-night voyages on the St. Lawrence Seaway and Canadian Maritimes with calls at Montréal, whale watching in the Saguenay Fjord, Québec City; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Halifax, Niagara Falls, Cleveland and Detroit.
A highlight of Victory II’s first season on the Great Lakes will be the line’s first cruises to major ports on Lake Superior, a Victory Cruise Lines exclusive. Lake Superior cruises will visit Marquette and Houghton, Michigan; Duluth, Minnesota; and Thunder Bay, Ontario, gateway to Canada's heartland. These itineraries also feature Milwaukee, Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin; and Muskegon, Michigan.
The ports complement passenger favorites like Mackinac Island, Michigan; Parry Sound, Ontario; Little Current, Manitoulin Island, Ontario; the Soo Locks between Lake Superior and the Lower Great Lakes; and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; Cleveland, Detroit and Niagara Falls.
Victory Cruise Lines recently got the green light to operate Cuba cruses.