MIAMI -- Cruise Holdings acquired control of Seawind Cruise Line
and Dolphin Cruise Line and is seeking to buy more vintage ships,
the company said.
Seawind markets one vessel, the Seawind Crown. Dolphin has three
ships, the OceanBreeze, SeaBreeze and Island Breeze.
Cruise Holdings said both lines will continue to be run as
separate brands and companies, but some operating resources will be
combined for economies of scale.
All current bookings will remain in force as will tariffs,
brochures and marketing activities, Cruise Holdings said.
Norwegian investor Kristian Stensby, chairman of Cruise Holdings
and a top financial officer in Kloster Cruise from 1987 to 1990,
said his company wants to acquire some of the vintage tonnage
available in the wake of the growing dominance of new
"Our vision," he said, "is to acquire high-quality classic ships
that reflect the graciousness of traditional cruising experiences,
spacious configurations and unique destination- oriented
"The capacity of our ships ranges from 730 to 1,100 passengers,
which allows us to provide a superior, personalized vacation
experience at a competitive price."
Stensby announced the appointment of Larry Magnan, former
president and chief executive officer of Westin Hotels and Resorts,
as president and chief executive officer of Cruise Holdings.
A Cruise Holdings subsidiary, Cruise Operations Ltd., operates
the four ships as well as three other cruise liners.
Cruise Holdings, which previously held a minority interest in
Seawind, acquired control of that company while buying the
outstanding shares in Dolphin, owned by Capt. Paris Katsoufis, the
founder of that line and its president.
Katsoufis, who said that he will continue as president of
Dolphin, also is president of the two-ship Majesty Cruise Line.
That company was not included in the deal for Dolphin, he
The executive said the acquisition of Dolphin by Cruise Holdings
is the "first step towards consolidating this segment of the cruise
"The result will be a stronger and more competitive company able
to continue expansion," he said.
Katsoufis said he will continue to run Dolphin from its
headquarters in the Port of Miami, including Dolphin's 20-person
field sales force.
Dick Knott, senior vice president of sales and marketing for
Seawind, said his company will retain autonomy in sales and
Both Dolphin and Seawind offer tariffs considered to be in the
economy sector of the market, although the companies have long
insisted they offer amenities and services above those of competing
Katsoufis founded Dolphin in 1984 by taking over the marketing
of the Dolphin IV from Paquet Cruises.
The line's OceanBreeze sails from Port Everglades on three- and
four-night cruises in the winter and, starting in June, on
five-night cruises to Canada from New York.
The SeaBreeze sails on seven-night eastern and western Caribbean
The IslandBreeze, the former Festivale, was acquired form
Carnival Cruise Line under a lease-purchase agreement, sails on
seven-night Panama Canal cruises.
Seawind was launched in 1988 to operated the former Vasco da
Gama on unique itineraries from Aruba.
The vessel, which underwent $44 million of renovations as the
Seawind Crown, is marketed in conjunction with Aruba hotel