The most exciting new development in the UK travel industry
In the most significant signal yet of the return of the UK travel economy, today it has been announced that the first new British cruise line since 2010 has been launched, with sales commencing in June and its inaugural cruises commencing operation in Spring 2022.
Ambassador Cruise Line will offer a premium-value, authentic and friendly cruise experience, sailing for the British market from its home port of London Tilbury. Ambassador will offer no-fly itineraries aimed primarily at the over 50’s market. Ambassador’s first ship, Ambience, is designed to carry up to 1,400 guests in 798 cabins with plenty of deck space on which to promenade, take in the ocean view or enjoy a sunset cocktail. She offers a choice of five different restaurants and two cafes, plus nine lounges, a swimming pool and a spa. Fitness and leisure facilities are complemented by enticing enrichment and lifestyle programmes and a full schedule of day and evening entertainment.
The maiden season for Ambience commences on 6th April 2022 with an inaugural short-break cruise to Hamburg, before embarking on a mixed itinerary programme with sailings to the Norwegian Fjords and the British Isles planned throughout spring. The full year programme, operating through May 2023, will consist of 33 sailings visiting a total of 88 different ports, featuring the Baltics and St Petersburg, Greenland, the Arctic, and Iceland, whilst for the winter months a range of expedition style voyages will sail to the Canaries, Cuba, the Caribbean, Cape Verde and Scandinavia.
Through funds managed by Njord Partners LLP, London the company is fully equity-financed (no financial debt). The Chair of the Board of Directors is Gordon Wilson who has over 30 years’ experience in the global travel industry. Ambassador has an extremely experienced management team, including several who were previously with Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) led by CEO, Christian Verhounig and supported by CCO, Christopher Coates, CIO, Gary Hides and CFO, Simon Weeks. The company is based in Purfleet, Essex.
Gordon Wilson remarked: “Our launch today is a demonstration of our belief in the underlying strength of the UK travel market as we emerge from the pandemic. Ambassador Cruise Line has been established to offer a proposition to consumers who want premium-value on classic ships. Our audience is looking for traditional values, strong environmental credentials, superlative service and no-fly cruises.
This is an exciting first step for our rapidly expanding team and for our industry partners. Investment on this scale, and the launch of such a significant business as we emerge from the pandemic will make a valuable contribution to the tourism economy and travel industry, particularly as we look to fill at least 100 jobs from the UK.”
Limiting environmental impact should be a key part of the proposition of any cruise line. Prior to its maiden voyage, Ambience will be upgraded with emission reduction technologies to be International Maritime Organisation (IMO) TIER III compliant. This Tier, which aims to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 70 percent compared to the standards applicable from January 2022, does not come into force until January 2025.
However, Ambassador has made the decision to go straight to this level of compliance. In addition, Ambience will be equipped and outfitted with the latest ballast and sewage water treatment systems and guests will notice that single-use plastic onboard has been eliminated. Technology will be used as an innovative alternative to printing menus, shore plans and activity schedules.
Treating our guests right is not just about the booking and onboard experience. In accordance with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, we have insurance cover in place to financially protect all guests booking with Ambassador Cruise Line, for all monies paid either directly or via their travel agent. In addition, we will operate a fully compliant independent Trust Account where guests’ funds are deposited and only released when the cruise departs. Our offer also includes a booking guarantee in the event we are forced to cancel a cruise.
In terms of health, existing cruise customers understand that cruise lines are already one of the most extensively regulated sectors of the tourism industry for both health and safety. Ambassador Cruise Line will additionally operate a policy that all guests and crew will need to be vaccinated prior to setting sail to provide that additional peace of mind.
Indicative prices for a seven-night European cruise departing from London Tilbury are £850 per person, on a full-board basis.
A full programme of itineraries and prices will be available for sale in June as supported by a 68-page first edition brochure, including some very tempting lead in inaugural rates. Bookings can be made online, by calling the Ambassador Cruise Line call centre or contacting one of our partner travel agencies. Guests and partners interested in finding out more can sign up immediately on the registration website for news, information on Ambience, and to browse itineraries.
For all the team at Ambassador Cruise Line this is just the beginning.