Ambassador to reveal cruises for second ship ‘very soon’

Ambassador Cruise Line will “very soon” reveal the itineraries for its second ship, Ambition, which is scheduled to start sailing in 2023.

The company’s first vessel, Ambience, departs on its maiden voyage on April 20, after a trade event in Tilbury on April 19.

Phil Gardner, chief commercial officer at the new cruise line, told a Travel Weekly webcast that an announcement about Ambition’s programme is “very imminent”.

“I can’t give you the exact date – only because it’s commercially sensitive,” he said. “It’s very, very soon.”

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Both ships are refitted vessels which will offer no-fly itineraries from Tilbury, predominantly aimed at British passengers aged over 50. There will be longer itineraries which agents may be able to package up with flights to offer different options to passengers.

Gardner described the new cruise line brand as “premium value”, offering “an authentically British experience”.

It has been established by executives from Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) which went into administration in July 2021.

He said agents attending the trade event can see how Ambience and the new brand differ from CMV’s fleet.

“There’s definitely a difference with Ambassador; this is all about the new brand,” he said.

“It is a big step up. It will have a completely new feel to it; it’s definitely an upgrade in terms of what they will see and feel.”

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He said names of the areas on board will “resonate” with the clientele, such as the Centre Court atrium, a bar called SW19, a Purple Turtle pub, and a buffet area called Borough Market.

“It’s a very British experience,” he commented. “These aren’t megaton ships; what they are instead is a more intimate experience, a more traditional cruising experience. And the market for this is really strong.”

He said the round-Britain cruises have sold “particularly well” as passengers are more wary of Covid than younger consumers – and the fact they can board at Tilbury means they don’t have to worry about the recent queues seen at many UK airports.

“What we have is a very slick process which has been agreed at the port of Tilbury; we look forward to beginning that next week,” added Gardner.

He said cabins on the 1,400-guest ship Ambience are just under 17 square metres, which is bigger than many new-build ships.

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Ambition will carry about 1,200 passengers and will have a “different feel” to Ambience, although both vessels will appeal to the cruise line’s core market of over-50s Brits.

Furthermore, Ambition will offer regional departures from ports such as Newcastle, Dundee, Belfast, Liverpool, Bristol, and Falmouth.

As well as round-Britain cruises, Ambience is offering sailings to explore the Baltic Sea, Greek islands, fjords, Iceland, Canaries and Cuba.

When Ambition joins the fleet, there will be some “overlap” in itineraries as well as some “far and wide explorer opportunities”, added Gardner.

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