Johanna Jainchill
Johanna Jainchill

*logoWithin the past year, three new cruise brands have been announced with a connection to the former one-ship Orient Lines.

One of them, Wayne Heller's dream to relaunch Orient Lines this year, was quashed by the economy.

The other two were announced in the past month. Gerry Herrod, the founder of Orient Lines, is launching a cruise line centered on Mediterranean history and culture, called Voyages to Antiquity. And the Marco Polo, the former Orient Lines ship, will be used to launch an adults-only, U.K.-based cruise line called Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

Did Orient Lines' demise leave a gap in the market that still needs to be filled?

Many travel agents think so.

"I don't know of any [lines] that would even come close to such a thing," Stephanie Kunz, of Colorado-based Decadent Travel, said of Voyages to Antiquity. "This has indeed tapped into what I feel could be a market waiting to happen."

Kristopher Krenz of Pak-N-Go Cruises and Tours in Brick, N.J., said he misses the educational cruises once offered by lines such as the former Royal Olympic.

"Many people want to explore new places to learn about the past and visit historical sites. I'm one of those," said Krenz. "Today it is difficult to find a destination-type cruise that is affordable along with combining history and civilization. ... Even my parents, who have taken three long Orient Lines cruises, have interest in something similar -- both affordable and historical. There is really nothing available.

"The new Orient Lines failed I think because they couldn't get the word out there," Krenz added. "My past Orient Lines cruisers were skeptical."

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