A new cruise brand could be starting soon as Victoria Cruises Line is aiming to launch a residence ship concept with two cruise ships on bareboat charter agreements.“The basic difference between Victoria Cruises and other cruise lines is that you don’t have to buy cabins, you can rent them. The minimum rental period is six months and the maximum is unlimited,” said Maurizio Potesta, marketing manager The brand’s website shows world cruises in 2023 leaving from both Port Everglades and Livorno and per day pricing lower than major cruise brands Potesta said plans had been put in place prior the global pandemic to start up, targeting the 55+ community.
The ships appear to be coming from the laid up SeaJets fleet and are ex- Holland American Line vessels.“The ships are currently registered under the old name, and will only be renamed once we are sure we can start the project and have 80 percent pre- registration,” said Potesta, in an email to Cruise Industry News.
“The vessels were refurbished by Holland America Line in 2015 and 2016 and have not been in service since early 2020.
So they were sold after a relatively recent refurbishment and have been idle for over two years. The design update does not affect the public spaces, only the cabins and suites. We envisioned a lighter, cleaner pastel color scheme. The design update is proceeding on schedule as planned,” Potesta added.Of note, the company bought a Russian outfit, Murmansk Shipping Company, out of bankruptcy proceedings a few years ago.
“We managed to acquire the shares of the company at a very low price, part of which was owned by the Russian state, and after selling the cargo ships, we were able to close the acquisition with a small profit. We then took over the name Victoria Cruise Line, at that time still in the planning stage for a residential cruise concept, which was postponed due to COVID,” Potesta said.“The company is fully privately owned, we are not a listed company. We have no bank loans and no debt, we are developing everything from our own capital and we do not intend to take on any debt at a later date.”