Ambassador Cruise Line has bought the Mistral Class ship AIDAmira. The 1,730 capacity ship launched in 1999, is to be named Ambition, and will enter service in 2023.
Ambassador’s second ship, Ambition, will enter service in spring 2023, carrying 1,200 guests in 714 cabins. Her inaugural season is due to go on sale in Q2 2022. She will operate itineraries from London Tilbury but will also offer cruises from six U.K. regional departure ports. MS Ambition MS Ambience – Chat Group
Like her sister ship Ambience, she will offer no-fly sailings predominantly targeting the 50-plus market held by SAGA, Fred. Olsen and the two adult ships at P&O; the Arcadia and Aurora. The initial difference you might think you observe is the diversity in their advertising which the other senior ships have not shown very much in the past. This growing market sector can be put down to a generation of house owners who bought in the ’70s when wage to house price was at one of their lowest, and the booming Equity Release market. Many homeowners have taken the opportunity of releasing assets value to invest in a fund that delivers an annual return for a cruise holiday. But beware, just like the seas, we sail on, it is full of sharks as well as pretty fish. As an introduction to the subject that needs much study and consideration, we only point you to the SAGA site for research. Their financial division and insurance offers sit alongside their cruise success and new ships and is a model that appears to work.
Ambience will sail from their base at London Tilbury, will also offer a summer 2023 programme of regional departures from ports such as Newcastle, Dundee, Belfast, Liverpool, Bristol and Falmouth, which is straight out of the Fred. Olsen playbook. That cruise plan enables guests to find a port that offers a shorter distance to travel. However, on the Cruise Doris Visits January survey run on our SAGA and Fred Olsen chat groups the guests firmly put the choice of destination as their lighthouse when choosing a cruise.
First, she will have a brand change refurb and extensive upgrades just as her new sister ship, Ambience, went through. These will include the installation of the latest emission reduction technologies to secure IMO Tier III compliance. The new-look Ambition will carry about 50% fewer guests than the current capacity under AIDA, a nod to the style designed to create a friendly atmosphere on board and cement the feel Ambassador are seeking to establish, that of a “community at sea”, which the other brands have built. A maximum of 1,200 guests in considerable comfort and space in her 714 cabins, 125 of which have balconies and 113 are suites with up to 62m² of living space. She will have two main restaurants and speciality dining options, a more 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. Guests will also be able to enjoy the wellness centre, gymnasium, two swimming pools and a range of retail shops.
The ship has been purchased outright from Costa Crociere which operated her under their AIDA brand, mainly targeting the German market and using robots to assist the crew to advise, translate and even dance with guests. Whilst there are dance teaching robots which can be classed safer than dance hosts in a pandemic, I somehow think they might not appear here.
216m length | 28.8m width |8 Passenger Decks | 1200 Passengers | 714 Cabins | 500 Crew | Guest to crew ratio 2.4 | GT 48,123 tonnes
Her new classification society is listed as Rina, Italy but she falls into the Mistral Class, many of which are war vessels. You will see the same or similar ships called the Lyrica class, some operated by MSC Cruises. They were built at Chantiers de l’Atlantique, St. Nazaire, France. Before being the AIDAmira she was with Costa as the neoRiveriera. Whilst some may jump to question our banding these ships all together the strongest argument for this is that the first in class often gives ship and class the name. Lyrica is way down the line. The subclass Lyrica is longer and bigger, but the first are similar but smaller ships. The Lyrica class goes up to about 250 meters in length, over 2,000 passengers on 9 passenger decks. (13 total)
- Ambition (1999) Previous names: Mistral, Grand Mistral, Costa neoRiviera, AIDAmira
- MSC Armonia (2001)
- MCS Sinfonia (2002)
- Lyrica (2003)
- Opera (2004)
Prior to entering service with Ambassador Cruise Line, her new emission reduction technologies to secure IMO Tier III compliance. This will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 95% compared to current standards. Along with installing updated ballast and sewage water treatment systems, both ships in the Ambassador Cruise Line fleet will be among circa 10% of the current world cruise fleet authorised to sail in strictly environmentally protected seas. Doris Visits lists here in a menu of ships that is over 300 cruise vessels. https://www.dorisvisits.com/ships-menuambassador/#ambition
Ambassador CEO, 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 the 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”.
Ambition’s maiden voyage itineraries will be unveiled during Q2 2022
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The ship’s routes and destinations are collected on Doris Visits and used as research when Stuart St Paul is writing a cruise novel. The first mystery at sea was CRUISE SHIP HEIST. Colon in Panama, and Puerto Limon in Costa Rica are the ports at the start of this novel that is to return across the Atlantic via Madeira. On this fictitious ship, ex-special services officer Kieron Philips gets a shock introduction to cruising. Funchal in Madeira is where, in the book, the final showdown takes place. The book series is a set of on-ship crime mysteries a little like a cross between NCIS and Miami Vice. Each book reveals a lot about the workings above and below decks and a cruise route.
CHAT GROUPS – a fantastic way to help others and a place to find answers. We run Facebook Groups for cruisers – see the list in black boxes after the ships and fleets listed above. FRED OLSEN CHAT SITE P&O Arcadia & Aurora Ambassador Chat SAGA CHAT Azamara chat