Mystic Cruises says that it has bought Vasco da Gama

The parent holding company of Portugal-based cruise company Mystic Cruises has announced the acquisition of cruise ship Vasco da Gama (IMO 8919245) as part of the ongoing auction of the ships owned by the Global Maritime Group of Greece and previously operated by the insolvent Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV).

The UK Admiralty Court in September ordered five of the cruise ships to be sold. The 630-cabin Vasco da Gama was auctioned by CW Kellock & Co on October 9th. The sale price has not been disclosed.

The first two auctions have now been completed and three more are due to close in the coming week. CMV eventually went into administration during the summer.

Speaking about the acquisition of the 55,400 gross ton cruise ship, Mário Ferreira, president of Mystic Invest Holding, parent company of Mystic Cruises, said that the company had taken the opportunity to grow its current fleet and to better position it for the expected rebound after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our focus is on smaller cruise ships, under 1,000 passengers, to create a more personalized, safe and intimate cruise experience for our guests,” Ferreira said, adding that “we believe that this segment of the market is better placed to answer to what cruisers will expect in the near future.”

Currently docked at Tilbury in the UK, it is planned that the Vasco da Gama will serve the UK and German market. Launched in 1993 as the Statendam of Holland America Line, the ship was one of the first modern cruise ships built by Fincantieri and the first ordered by Carnival after it acquired Holland America Line. In 2014 the vessel was transferred to P&O Australia, another subsidiary of Carnival, sailing as the Pacific Eden. Global acquired the ship from P&O Australia and in 2018 it was renamed Vasco da Gama. P&O Australia was a creditor and petitioned the Admiralty Court for the auction.

It was not clear if the company planned to market the ship directly or whether it would seek a charterer to handle sales in those markets. CMV and its sister company Transocean Tours had previously operated in those markets, and the founder of CMV has been looking at repurchasing some parts of the business from the administrator.

The parent company of Mystic Cruises also operates Germany based Nicko Cruises, Portuguese river cruise company DouroAzul, as well as river cruise ship improver/builder Priority Dolphin.

Of the remaining four ships in the ex-CMV fleet, the auction has been completed for the Columbus. The auctions for the cruise ships Astor, Magellan, and Marco Polo are due to be completed between October 15th and October 22nd. The sale of the ships will be subject to confirmation by the court.

1993-built, Bahamas-flagged, 55,877 gt Vasco da Gama had previously been owned by Mythic Cruise Ltd care of manager V Ships Leisure of Monaco Ville, Monaco. It had previously been listed (when it was with a Greece-based manager) as entered with American Club on behalf of Mythic Cruise Ltd, but is now entered with Steamship Mutual (Americas Syndicate) and with UK Club on behalf of Carnival PLC.