Carnival Corporation, which had already announced plans to create a Spain-based cruise line in conjunction with major Spanish travel company Orizonia Corporacion, has finalized the details. The new line, to be called Iberocruceros, is a joint venture that will consist of three ships. Two -- the 1,244 passenger Grand Mistral and the 834-passenger Grand Voyager -- will come from Orizonia's own fleet.
The third ship will come from Carnival Cruise Lines. The 1,486-passenger Celebration, as we reported today, will transfer to Iberocruceros in late spring 2008.
Carnival will own 75 percent of the joint venture with Orizonia owning the remaining 25 percent. The company will be based in Madrid, and Carnival Corporation's Pier Luigi Foschi, who already oversees Costa and AIDA, will head this venture -- though day-to-day management will continue under Alfredo Serrano, who's general manager of Orizonia's fleet of two ships.
For Spanish cruise travelers, it's business as usual aside from the cruise operation's new name. However, the addition of Celebration means the fleet will of course grow next year.
Spain is one of the fastest growing cruise markets. Last year, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., owner of Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International, acquired Pullmantur, Spain's largest cruise line. It's got a fleet of six ships, including the former Celebrity Zenith and Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Seas, which have since been transferred there.
--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor
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Carnival Creates Spain-Based Cruise Line
September 5, 2007