P&O PRINCESS officially said it acquired the
R3 and R4, two former Renaissance ships that previously operated in
Tahiti, from the French Polynesian government for a total cost of
about $150 million. The R4 will be transferred to Princess Cruises
and renamed the Tahitian Princess. Beginning Dec. 24, it will sail
10-day cruises year-round in Tahiti and neighboring islands. The R3
will become the Pacific Princess and sail half the year in French
Polynesia under Princess Cruises and half the year in French New
Caledonia under the Australian P&O Cruises brand. Itineraries
for that ship, as well as airlift arrangements, are still being
finalized, Princess said.
RENAISSANCE MYSTERY: No, it isn't a 15th
century whodunit. It's an unknown investor or group of investors
aiming to resurrect the Renaissance Cruises name. The old
Renaissance Cruises, of course, is bankrupt and in the midst of
liquidation proceedings in a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., court. But a
new Web site at www.renaissancecruises.cc tells visitors "after a
year's sabbatical, we are back in Fort Lauderdale and are putting
the Renaissance Cruises family back together." The cc at the end of
the URL is the designation for the Cocos Islands, an Australian
territory in the Indian Ocean. The Renaissance name and trademarks
were sold in May to a company called ATx, LLC, for $50,000; the
registered agent for ATx, according to Florida State Dept. records,
is Garry Johnson of the law firm Tripp Scott, based in Fort
Lauderdale. And at least one travel agent said he received an
e-mail about the new Renaissance with a reference to the Online
Vacation Center American Express travel agency, of which former
Renaissance chief Ed Rudner is president. Neither Rudner nor
Johnson returned phone calls seeking comment.
WITH WHAT SHIPS? Even if the Renaissance
Cruises name does attempt a comeback, it probably won't be with
former Renaissance cruise ships, which, in addition to P&O's
purchase of two, six others now are owned by French investors
Cruiseinvest. Jim Dolphin, an advisor to Cruiseinvest through
American Marine Advisors in New York, said Cruiseinvest is not
currently contemplating a venture with the ships under the
Renaissance name. "There are some people who loved those ships, but
it obviously didn't end well," he said. "If you want to put a
venture forward, you want to do well. Using the Renaissance name
might not do that."
THE STATENDAM'S Aug. 11 sailing was canceled
due to ongoing repairs to the ship's electrical generation system.
Holland America Line said the repairs were taking longer than
expected. The ship's Aug. 4 sailing was canceled after a generator
malfunction disabled its propulsion system and left the vessel
without power 24 miles north of Vancouver. Refunds and discounts
were being offered to affected customers.
• Agents who book a full 2003 world cruise on Crystal Cruises will
receive a $1,500 bonus commission check, the line said. Crystal
also will pay an extra $250 for every new stateroom booking on any
of the individual legs of the voyage.
• Royal Caribbean Int'l changed its official tagline to "Get Out
There," following the success of the line's multimedia campaign set
to the tunes of Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life." The campaign initially
launched in January 2000 to reposition the brand and generate an
increased demand for Royal Caribbean, as well as to dispel consumer
misperceptions of cruising.