Ambassador Cruise Line has become the first new cruise line to launch in Britain since 2010, with sales for itineraries opening this June and inaugural cruises starting in April 2022.
Designed to offer a “premium-value, authentic cruise experience”, Ambassador Cruise Line will homeport at London Tilbury and offer no-fly itineraries that are primarily aimed at guests aged 50 and above.
The company has been fully equity-financed through funds managed by London-based firm Njord Partners and will be led by an experienced management team that includes several executives from UK-based cruise brand Cruise & Maritime Voyages, which went into administration in July 2020. They include CEO Christian Verhounig, chief commercial officer Christopher Coates, chief information officer Gary Hides, and chief financial officer Simon Weeks.
“We are hugely excited to launch the first British cruise line in over a decade,” said Gordon Wilson, chair of Ambassador Cruise Line’s board of directors. “It is just what the industry needs right now to reboot the British cruise market and inject confidence into the sector. Ambassador Cruise Line offers the best of British cruising – we’re a new company offering a distinctive product but maintaining traditional cruising values which we know are important to our guests.”
“This is just the beginning. We have ambitious growth plans, and the travel industry is a crucial partner in this. We’re looking forward to working collaboratively with agents, partners and the shipping community. Investment on this scale, and the launch of such a significant business as we emerge from the pandemic will make a significant contribution to the local economy and travel industry, particularly as we look to fill at least 100 jobs from the UK.”
Initially, the brand will operate one ship named Ambience, which is designed to carry approximately 1,400 guests in 798 cabins, 23 per cent of which will have balconies. Onboard highlights will include nine lounges, five restaurants (including speciality dining options), two cafes, a spa, a swimming pool, and fitness and leisure facilities. The brand will also develop a programme of enrichment and lifestyle activities for guests.
Before starting service, Ambience will be upgraded with emission reduction technologies to ensure she complies with the International Maritime Organization’s Tier III regulation, as well as advanced ballast and sewage water treatment systems to enable her to sail in environmentally protected waters worldwide. Ambassador Cruise Lines has also eliminated single-use plastic onboard the vessel and will offer digital menus, shore plans and activity schedules as part of its sustainability efforts.
Ambience will debut with a short cruise to Hamburg, Germany on 6 April 2022 and then offer a series of British Isles itineraries and cruises to the Norwegian fjords throughout the spring season. The vessel will also offer voyages to destinations in the Baltics, Greenland, Iceland and the Arctic, before embarking on a range of expedition-style sailings to Scandinavia, the Canaries, Cuba, the Caribbean and Cape Verde in the winter. In total, Ambience is expected to offer 33 cruises to 88 ports worldwide in her first full year of operation, which will last until May 2023.
All guests and crew will must be vaccinated prior to setting sail.