January 19, 2004
Last night, two of First European's newest vessels, Mistral and European Stars, were arrested at ports of call as a result of creditor-related issues. The U.S.-based spokeswoman for First European, known in Europe as Festival Cruises, did not immediately respond to a request for information. But industry sources say that Mistral was seized in Marseilles and European Stars in Barcelona. Passengers were forced to disembark. At this point we have not heard about the status of the four-ship Festival/First European's remaining vessel -- the Azur.
European-based media outlets are saying that the Genoa-based Festival is claiming the issue will be resolved by Wednesday. We'll keep you posted.