Following the transfer in 2011 of Grand Voyager to parent company Costa Crociere comes the news that Grand Mistral (1999/46,052gt), Iberocruceros’ largest remaining ship, will be heading the same way at the end of her 2013 Mediterranean season.
As a result, the previously advertised South America season, which was to have been based in Santos, Brazil, has been cancelled. The winter season of the company’s Grand Celebration, based in Buenos Aires, appears to be unaffected by the move. This does mean that Iberocruceros will be back to just two ships, Grand Holiday and Grand Celebration, both former Carnival Cruise Lines vessels.
Grand Mistral was built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique at St Nazaire as the first new ship for Festival Cruises as Mistral. After the bankruptcy of Festival, the ship was acquired by her builder and chartered to Spain’s Iberojet. She was purchased outright in 2004 and at that time took her current name.
With the previous emphasis by Costa on massive high capacity ships, which form the bulk of its fleet, it will be interesting to see how the company’s latest acquisition will be deployed.