In something of an inevitable retrenchment, the fleets of Spanish accented Pullmantur and it’s French cousin, Crosieres De France (CDF) will ‘share’ its existing tonnage, effective from coming this winter onward.
The move- a merger in everything but name- will give the two Royal Caribbean offshoots a combined, four ship fleet. This will rise to five ships when the current Majesty of the Seas joins the line up in 2018.
The transfer of Majesty of the Seas to Pullmantur was originally expected this year but, to the surprise of many, Royal Caribbean initially decided to retain the last of it’s three Sovereign class ships. For this new role, Majesty of the Seas is scheduled for a substantial refit, including the addition of a massive movie screen, new water slides, three new restaurants, and an expanded casino. Thi should be completed by May, after which the 74,000 ton ship is due to move to Port Canaveral to operate a series of three and four day Bahamas sailings.
Now, after sailing for Royal Caribbean through 2016 and 2017, Majesty of the Seas will indeed be transferring to Pullmantur/CDF effective in 2018, there to rejoin her original sister ships, Sovereign and Monarch. Each of those two ships will undergo a $5,000,000 refurbishment before beginning their upcoming winter schedules.
Meanwhile, Spanish passengers will continue to be offered cruises on the 46,00 ton former Celebrity sister ships, Horizon and Zenith. These two ships operate as an all inclusive product and, over the next season, the CDF ships will also revert to being an all inclusive service. French passengers will also be offered the opportunity to sail on the three Sovereign class vessels under the Pullmantur flag. Coincidentally, all three of these were built in the French shipyards of Saint Nazaire.
Interesting times over at the French and Spanish operators. As ever, stay tuned for updates.