Greek cruise company Celestyal Cruises has bought a cruise ship formerly known as the Aegean Goddess and has renamed it the Celestyal Journey (IMO 8919269) . A €20m refurbishment has been planned for the ship before it enters service, although the launch date of the ship has not yet been revealed.
Celestyal Cruises has acquired the ship from Greece-based Seajets. The ship had operated for P&O Australia, where it was named the Pacific Aria from 2015 to 2020. Greece-based Seajets, known for operating ferries rather than cruise ships, bought the vessel in 2020. It was then laid up in Greece for the duration of the pandemic.
The Celestyal Journey was built as Holland America Line’s Ryndam in 1994. In November 2019 P&O Cruises Australia announced the sale of the by-then named Pacific Aria to CMV, with cruise holidays scheduled to begin in May 2021 under the name Ida Pfeiffer. That name was never seen under sailing conditions. The two lines agreed to a formal transfer of ownership in Singapore on May 2nd. However, CMV went into administration and subsequently shut down operations.
Celestyal Cruises already has two such mid-size ships in its fleet, the 1982-built 37,773 gt Celestyal Olympia (IMO 7927984) (formerly the Louis Olympia and Thomson Destiny) and the 1980-built 25,611 gt Celestyal Crystal (IMO 7827213), which has sailed under a myriad of names through the years, including Louis Cristal, Cristal, Opera and Silja Opera. Both these vessels sail under the Maltese flag.
Chris Theophilides, CEO of Celestyal said when announcing the acquisition that “while the global events of the past few years have placed our growth plans on pause, the positive industry outlook along with strong bookings for the coming season, provides Celestyal with the opportunity to recommence the process of renewing our fleet with new vessels”.
In 2020 Celestyal acquired the 1993-built 53,000 gt former Costa NeoRomantica and renamed it Celestyal Experience, but it was laid up in Greece and never entered service. Celestyal sold the ship for scrap a few months later.
Late in 2021, the Cyprus-based Louis group the parent company of Celesytal reported that it had reached a strategic agreement with funds managed by Searchlight Capital Partners, a private investment firm, to recapitalize the cruise line.
Still known as the Aegean Goddess on Equasis, the 1994-built, Bermuda-flagged, 55,877 gt Celestyal Journey is still listed as owned by Aegean Goddess Inc care of manager Optimum Shipmanagement Service of Piraeus, greece. It is entered with American Club under the name Aegean Goddess, on behalf of Aegean Goddess Inc. As of February 27th the vessel was moored in Lavrio, Greece, where it arrived on February 23rd.