With the coming 2016 delivery of the Thomson Discovery to the TUI UK based fleet, there is still no word as to the fate of the current fleet stalwart, Island Escape.
The 1,800 passenger, 1982 built ship has been a staple of the budget Mediterranean cruise circuit for the better part of two decades, and provided a first cruise experience for literally thousands of passengers. But she is due to make her last such sailing in October and, as of yet, no future buyer has stepped forward to take on the formerBahamas car ferry.
The website Marine Consultant (www.marine-consultant.com) has the vessel listed for sale at a price of around $20 million, with delivery offered from October. The Island Escape is listed as fully SOLAS 2010 compliant.
With no disclosed potential buyers, the future for the 33 year old ship does not look great.
She would work for a company like Celestyal Cruises, the specialist, short cruise operator that has made the Greek and Turkish market largely its own. For them, the Island Escape might well make a very appealing option for the short, three and four day cruise itineraries that the line offers from March to November each year.
That said, would Celestyal- who will take on the new Celestyal Nefeli next March- be willing to invest in additional tonnage, given the air of uncertainty and political tension currently prevalent in the region?
Here’s hoping that this popular, fondly remembered ship does, indeed, find suitable future employment. As ever, stay tuned for any news updates.