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New UK brand Ambassador Cruise Line launches

Ambassador Cruise Line's management team includes several team members who were previously with Cruise & Maritime Voyages led by CEO, Christian Verhounig (pictured).
A new UK-based operator, Ambassador Cruise Line deploying first ship Ambience — formerly Pacific Dawn — and run by a senior management team previously with Cruise & Maritime Voyages, has launched.

Sales for 798-cabin Ambience commence next month and inaugural cruises start next spring.

Ambassador Cruise Line will offer a premium-value cruise experience, sailing for the British market from its homeport of London Tilbury. It will offer no-fly itineraries aimed primarily at the over 50s market.

Through funds managed by Njord Partners LLP, London the company is fully equity-financed. Chair of the board of directors is Gordon Wilson who has over 30 years’ experience in the global travel industry including as president and CEO of Travelport until July 2019. He is a member of the supervisory board of BCD Holdings which owns global corporate travel management company, BCD Travel.

CMV lineage

Ambassador is led by CEO Christian Verhounig, supported by CCO Christopher Coates, CIO Gary Hides and CFO Simon Weeks.

Ambience, previously known as Satoshi, is designed to carry approximately 1,400 passengers and has 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.

Emission technology upgrade

The 1991-built Ambience, originally Regal Princess, is currently located in Montenegro. The vessel will be upgraded with emission reduction technologies to be IMO Tier II and even Tier III compliant prior to the start of the cruising season. Tier III comes into force by 1.1.25, aiming to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 70% compared to the Tier II standards.

The maiden season for Ambience commences on April 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 throughout spring.

Canaries, Cuba and Caribbean

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

Remarking on the arrival of Ambassador Cruise Line, Wilson said: ‘It is just what the industry needs right now to reboot the British cruise market and inject confidence into the sector ... We’re a new company offering a distinctive product but maintaining traditional cruising values which we know are important to our guests.’ He added: 'This is just the beginning.'

The line has ambitious growth plans, and the travel industry is a crucial partner in this, he said. The company is looking to fill at least 100 jobs from the UK.