Royal Olympic Ships Get New Owners

March 29, 2004

Royal Olympic, the financially challenged Piraeus-based cruise line that had already let go of the older ships in its fleet, has also officially lost ownership of its two newest vessels -- Olympia Explorer and Olympia Voyager. The two ships (the former has been holed up in Long Beach, California, since creditors moved to foreclose while the latter has rested at the Port of Miami) were acquired by KfW, a company that, in effect, acts on behalf of the banks that held the ships' titles.

Both were acquired at auction. The price paid for either ship was not revealed.

The ships, the newest in Royal Olympic's fleet -- and the only two that really targeted U.S.-based passengers -- were launched in 2000 and 2001; each of the 25,000-ton 836-passenger ships cost about $175 million to build.

Industry sources say that KfW will either charter the vessels -- or sell them outright.