A second ship is being added to the fleet of UK start-up Ambassador Cruise Line in 2023, signalling its confidence in the sector.
The 1,200-passenger vessel has been purchased outright for an undisclosed sum from Costa, which operated it as AidaMira for German line Aida.
The ship, built in 1999, will be renamed Ambition and undergo similar extensive upgrades as sister ship Ambience, including the installation of the latest emission reduction technologies.
This will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by about 95% compared to current standards, according to the company.
Along with installing updated ballast and sewage water treatment systems, both ships in the Ambassador Cruise Line fleet will be among around 10% of the current world cruise fleet authorised to sail in strictly environmentally protected seas.
Ambition will join Ambience in offering ex-UK sailings predominantly targeting the 50-plus market with a “premium-value, authentic cruise experience”. Ambience enters service in April and is designed to carry up to 1,400 passengers in 798 cabins.
In addition to London Tilbury, the line’s second ship will also run regional departures in summer 2023 from ports such as Newcastle, Dundee, Belfast, Liverpool, Bristol and Falmouth.
The full programme is being finalised and is due to be on sale from the spring.
Ambition, which also operated as Mistral, Grand Mistral and Costa neoRiviera has 714 cabins, 125 of which have balconies and 113 are suites.
It has two main restaurants and speciality dining options, a casual bistro style café, four bars and lounges and a pub.
These will be complemented by a tiered main theatre, casino, card room, library and craft studio.
Other facilities include a wellness centre, gym, two swimming pools and shops.
Chief executive Christian Verhounig said: “We are delighted with the warm reception given to the introduction of Ambassador to the market – a new brand, proposition and our first ship.
“This announcement of the addition of Ambition to the fleet reflects our confidence and willingness to invest in the future of Ambassador and the cruise sector.
“We are particularly excited to be offering regional departure options for Ambition in 2023, whilst also offering guests who travel from London Tilbury a greater choice of sailings and ships on which to enjoy them.
“Clearly, we are all focused on the success of Ambience’s maiden season which commences in April this year, but we believe existing and new guests, as well as our trade partners, will be thrilled to hear about Ambassador’s growth plans.”
The full programme of itineraries and offers will be detailed in a “bumper” 2023-24 season brochure.