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Going, going, gone! Former CMV cruise ship Vasco de Gama sold at auction.

October 16, 2020 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Former cruise line CMV’s former Vasco de Gama has been sold at auction to Mystic Cruises, which owns the Atlas Ocean Voyages and Nicko Cruises brands.

Mystic Cruises is described as an ocean cruise division of Mystic Invest, a Portuguese privately held financial holding with more than 25 years of experience in the shipping sector, with their ambition being to launch several luxury expedition ships with the 2019 launched all balcony World Explorer the first vessel in their fleet of ocean-going ships.

Mystic says that the Vasco da Gama will serve the British and German markets under Mystic Cruises ownership, with Mario Ferreira, president of Mystic Invest Holding, parent company of Mystic Cruises saying, “Our company believes in offering an intimate, safe and great value for money experience to our guests, we believe that the Vasco da Gama will be a great addition to our fleet of ocean cruise ships”.

He added that the acquisition of the ship was an opportunity to grow the company’s current fleet and to better position it for the expected uptake of the market after the COVID-19 pandemic and “Our focus is on smaller cruise ships, under one thousand passengers, to create a more personalized, safe and intimate cruise experience for our guests,” adding, “We believe that this segment of the market is better placed to answer to what cruisers will expect in the near future.”

According to other media reports in Europe, the ship may sail under the Nicko Cruises banner, which operates riverboats and the 200-guest ocean-going World Explorer, offering a premium product, with the 1,258 guest Vasco da Gama helping expand Nicko’s footprint as Vasco de Gama already has a presence in the German-speaking market, having sailed under the Transocean banner for CMV.

Launched in 1993 as the Statendam of Holland America Line, Vasco de Gama is described as one of the first modern cruise ships built by Fincantieri and the first ordered by Carnival after it acquired Holland America Line, sailing with Holland America till 2014 when she was transferred to P&O Australia sailing as the Pacific Eden.  Greek ship ownership company Global acquired the ship from P&O and in 2018 she was renamed Vasco de Gama, with P&O appearing not to have been paid for the vessel as they were a creditor and petitioned the Admiralty Court for the auction.

During the process it quickly became clear that CMV was only the marketing, travel agency and face to consumers of the company, Greek owned and based Global Maritime Group, with the ships owned by separate companies under the umbrella of the Global Maritime Group.

All the former CMV ships were placed on the second-hand market with the bidding opening for Vasco Da Gama on October 8, Columbus on October 12, Astor on October 15, Magellan on October 19 and Marco Polo (Oct 22).

Columbus has also been sold, with one source telling Cruise Industry News the sales price was in the $7 million range, with according to two sources familiar with the sales transaction, she was sold to a Turkish owner, with sources also saying the owner plans to sit on the vessel now and will not operate her, indicating the new owner may try to resell her as the second-hand market rebounds, or scrap it as the scrap market improves.

The price paid for Vasco de Gama has not been revealed but along with that reportedly paid for Columus it is anticipated to be very low.

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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