Celestyal Cruises has acquired the former Carnival-owned Holland America cruise ship Ryndam, renaming her Celestyal Journey and scheduling a 20 million euro overhaul.
The planned €20 million refurbishment and technical overhaul wil be undertaken at a shipyard near Piraeus before the vessel enters service. The launch date of the ship remains undisclosed.
Celestyal Journey can accommodate 1,258 passengers, but the company has not disclosed whether it will expand or reduce the ship’s capacity.
The newly-refurbished vessel is expected to offer a considerable increase in premium and balcony staterooms, catering to the high demand for such accommodation on all its voyages.
The acquisition marks a strategic move by Celestyal Cruises to position itself to take advantage of the renewed interest in cruising that is evident worldwide.
Celestyal Cruises already has a fleet of three mid-sized ships, and the addition of Celestyal Journey will provide the company with additional capacity to meet the expected surge in demand in the coming summer.
In addition to expansive open decks, numerous bar and dining options as well as spacious public areas and staterooms, Celestyal Journey provides guests with a significant increase in premium and balcony staterooms.
Celestyal Journey was owned by Holland America Line before being transferred to P&O Australia and renamed Pacific Aria in 2015. The ship sailed on her maiden voyage for Seattle-based Holland America Line in 1993.
The ship was scheduled to join Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) in May 2021 under the new name of Ida Pfeifer. However, the transaction never materialized, as CMV had filed for bankruptcy.
Seajets later acquired Pacific Aria in 2020 as part of a buying spree from the Greek ferry operator, which also included Maasdam. Ryndam was laid up in Greece as Aegean Goddess in 2020.
Seajets sold the former Maasdam (Aegean Myth) to the new French shipping company Compagnie Française de Croisières in 2022, and she will be deployed from May 2023 under the name, Renaissance.