R6 and R7 are headed for...Dubai. A newly formed cruise line called Imperium Cruises has leased the two ships and will drydock them briefly before relaunching them. R6 will soon be known as “White Goddess,” and will begin sailing Arabian Gulf/Red Sea cruises out of Dubai in June. Similarly, R7 gets a brief onceover and a new name; as Goddess Nayna the ship will begin sailing the Indian Ocean some time in November. Dubai will also be home port for this vessel.
In the meantime, rumors are flying around that R8 has also found a home -- with P&O’s Swan Hellenic subsidiary. The British-based Swan Hellenic, with smaller river ships and a moderately-sized seagoing vessel, specializes in more up-close-and-personal types of cruises experiences. However, executives there neither confirm nor deny the rumors. “We have been looking for increased capacity for Swan Hellenic for some time and have several projects we are investigating,” says the company’s Becki Pearson, but “we have no comment to make on these specific rumours.”