Ambassadors International saw net income for the second quarter ended jump to $5.8 million, up from $1.7 million for the same period last year. The company recorded revenue of $80.4 million for the second quarter, up from $29.7 million for the second quarter in 2006. Ambassador reported an increase in operating costs of $53.7 million compared to the second quarter in 2006.

During the quarter ended June 30, Ambassadors completed its acquisition of Windstar Cruises from Holland America Line, adding three new vessels to its fleet and bringing the total number of vessels operated during the quarter to nine, compared with the four ships at the same time last year.

Together with the Windstar acquisition, total cruise revenue increased $25.4 million.

On May 14, however, Ambassadors' Empress of the North, a 223-passenger Majestic America Line vessel, ran aground in Alaska. Though no passengers or crew were injured, the ship spent eight weeks in drydock for repairs and cost the company about $5.2 million in repairs, passenger relocation and crew expenses. Ambassadors anticipates recovering $4.1 million from insurance and does plan on sailing the Empress of the North in 2008, when the company expects to see better yields.

Furthermore, Ambassadors' Contessa ship, a vessel that sails in Alaska, "will likely not run in 2008," Joe Ueberroth, chairman, president and CEO, said during the company's earnings call. The company said that though the Contessa had received good ratings from its passengers, it has been operating at a loss.

Another setback occurred Aug. 1, when the company received news that the historic 174-passenger, Mississippi River ship, the Delta Queen, was not granted another exemption from Congress from a law banning passenger vessels with wooden superstructures.

According to Ueberroth, once the Delta Queen retires in November 2008, the Mississippi Queen will replace her capacity in 2009.

To contact reporter Michelle Baran, send e-mail to [email protected].

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