Following continued weak performances in the winter South American market, some serious retrenchment is afoot at Pullmantur Cruises.
The Spanish offshoot of Royal Caribbean is bringing the 74,000 ton Monarch to Europe to operate Baltic cruises next year. This marks the first ever deployment of one of the three, original Sovereign class vessels in the region since the first of the trio- Sovereign Of The Seas- made her debut back in 1988.
By contrast, the 1990 built Empress is leaving the Pullmantur fleet completely next year. In a compete about face, she will return instead to Royal Caribbean under her former name- Empress Of The Seas- and resume sailings for that line.
As yet, no itineraries have been announced for the 48,000 ton vessel, originally built in France as the Nordic Empress. For a few years, she was a popular staple on the seven night, summer New York to Bermuda sailings, where her shallow draft enabled her to dock in the old capital of St. Georges.
The vessel was well remembered for her beautiful interiors, in particular her striking, aft facing dining room. Pullmantur left her interiors largely unaltered after acquiring the ship from Royal Caribbean in March of 2008.
There have been straws in the wind regarding Pullmantur for some time now. Last year, the intended 2016 transfer of Majesty Of The Seas from Royal Caribbean to Pullmantur was abruptly cancelled. Instead, the popular three and four day Bahamas cruise ship will undergo an extensive refit, before resuming service from a new home port at Port Canaveral.
Interesting developments here. As ever, stay tuned.