As widely expected, Costa Voyager is to leave the fleet of Costa Cruises, taking up a new role with a Hong Kong subsidiary of the Bokhai Ferry Company – a new entrant to the cruise market. The Chinese holding company operates a fleet of nine passenger car ferries in Chinese coastal service, but this is the first venture into the cruise business. The sale price has been reported as around $44 million.
Costa Voyager was built in Germany in 2000 as one of a pair of fast cruise ships designed for Royal Olympic Cruises’ ‘three continents in a week’ itineraries, and was originally Olympic Voyager. Political unrest in the Middle East combined with the 2001 terrorist attacks rendered her unusable on that itinerary and Royal Olympic Cruises collapsed. She operated for Carnival subsidiary Iberocruceros, but was more recently taken over by Costa Cruises, in part as a replacement for Costa Allegra following the fire aboard that ship.
• Costa Voyager’s sister, now sailing as Explorer for Semester at Sea, will visit Lloyd Werft at Bremerhaven in May for a major mid-life overhaul. This will be the first time that this ship has visited a German yard since she was delivered by Blohm & Voss in 2001.