Marseille-based TMR is chartering Grand Mistral (1999/48,200gt) from Spain’s Iberocruceros this year for a number of cruises under the Paquet Cruises banner, which was revived in conjunction with Costa Cruises in 2010.

Their first ship was Costa Allegra (1969/28,430gt), which was chartered for ten cruises last year, but her limitations, such as the absence of a proper theatre and only having ten balcony cabins, prompted TMR to opt for the newer Grand Mistral, which provides them with all the facilities they require, including 100 balconiedcabins.

TMR is proud that Grand Mistral was built by the French shipyard Chantiers (now STX) St Nazaire as Mistral for the now-defunct Festival Cruises. She was renamed in 2005 after being taken over by Costa’s Spanish subsidiary Iberocruceros. Her passenger capacity was increased to 1,700 following a refit in 2007, which also included the installation of more cabins at the rear.

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