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Celebrations on board Ambition, ahead of maiden voyage

L-R: The ribbon-cutting ceremony at Lupino’s; Christian Verhounig, CEO, Ambassador Cruise Line reveals the logo with Michelle Lupino’s sister and daughter standing off to the left
A gala evening will be held tonight on board Ambition, hosted by Ambassador Cruise Line CEO Christian Verhounig and the ship’s godmother, British sailor and double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson, ahead of tomorrow's maiden voyage.

The vessel, currently located at Newcastle's Port of Tyne, sails to Dundee on May 12 from where it will begin a 14-night ‘Hidden Gems of France and Spain’ voyage.

Honouring Michelle Lupino

As part of the launch event, Ambassador welcomed the family of Michelle Lupino for the opening of Lupino’s restaurant last night. A purple ribbon was cut by Michelle’s sister and daughter. Lupino died in October.  

Eight departure ports

The launch of Ambition will see Ambassador welcome passengers from eight UK departure ports. Over the course of its inaugural season, Ambition will visit 29 countries, call at 91 ports and travel more than 70,000 nautical miles. Together with sister ship Ambience, the 2023/24 season will see Ambassador’s portfolio of destinations grow to 60 countries, with the ships visiting 166 ports and sailing more than 160,000 nautical miles. Cruises will last from two to 120 days, and almost 100,000 passengers are expected to travel with Ambassador.

A ‘buoyant season’ ahead

Adding another ship to our fleet is evidence of the strength of both Ambassador and the wider cruise industry, showing the support we have received and demand we are experiencing ahead of what’s set to be a buoyant season,' Verhounig said.

‘Despite a backdrop of difficult economic conditions, we enjoyed a very strong booking period at the turn of the year, tripling sales compared to the same period in 2022. Demand remains strong, indicating that holidaymakers see a holiday as a necessity, not a luxury, and are eager to get away this year.’

Popular itineraries

Verhounig went on to say there is heightened interest in the line’s Norwegian fjords sailings, round-Britain cruises and bucket-list itineraries, such as its world cruise, which sails in January 2024. ‘We have also seen a shift in demand coming from customers who are new to cruise as more travellers choose no-fly holiday options. Interestingly, guests who have typically sailed with more luxury brands are instead choosing Ambassador, where they can enjoy a premium value, no-fly cruise that exceeds expectations,’ he added.

Refurbished in Bremerhaven

Ambition recently spent several weeks undergoing refurbishment at Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven. A total 10,940 liters of paint were used during the works, with 3,500sq mtr of new decking installed and 20 tonnes of steel replaced. The entertainment team also designed 1,200 new costumes and undertook 864 hours of rehearsals ahead of Ambition’s inaugural sailing.


The launch of Ambition comes almost one year on from when Ambassador’s first ship, Ambience, commenced its inaugural sailing. In the ship’s first season, it sailed 18 cruises and welcomed almost 30,000 passengers.