Festival Cruises/First European Issues Update

January 27, 2004
Festival Cruises/First European (the Genoa-based company's U.S. marketing arm), still at a stalemate in talks with creditors, announces today that it has canceled European Vision's February 1 sailing from Santo Domingo.

The company says that negotiations continue regarding options for refinancing European Vision, European Stars and Mistral. In a statement, Jim Applebaum, First European's new president, says that "we believe that answers and future direction should be coming shortly" and notes that the company remains optimistic.

The three ships were arrested earlier this month in various ports of call as a result of differences with creditors. European Stars was halted in Barcelona and Mistral in Marseilles. European Vision was seized in Barbados. Cruises on European Stars (slated to depart yesterday from Genoa) and European Vision (scheduled to sail last Sunday from Santo Domingo) had already been canceled. At this point, Mistral is not all-that-impacted as the ship was meant to spend those two weeks this month in dry-dock.