Greek ferry operator SeaJets have added a total of six new cruise ships to their fleet in 2020. Although several cruise lines have taken the opportunity in 2020 to expand their fleet with unprecedentedly low-price second-hand ships, SeaJets are the biggest purchaser. This would be the first foray into the cruise market for the Greek ferry operator, who currently runs high-speed ferries around the Greek islands.
SeaJets have picked up ships from the likes of P&O Cruises, Holland America Line and the now-defunct CMV. The shipping company have declined to make any comment on their purchases or future plans, although they have renamed some of the ships. Let’s take a look at their acquisitions:
Oceana and Pacific Aria, P&O Cruises
Their expansion started earlier in the year when they acquired P&O Cruises’ Oceana, rechristening her Queen of the Oceans. Recently she was joined by Pacific Aria, previously of P&O Cruises Australia. Her new name is Aegean Goddess.
Maasdam and Veendam, Holland America Line
SeaJets acquired Maasdam and Veendam in July of 2020, although they were not announced as buyers until August. Maasdam has been rechristened Aegean Myth and Veendam has been rechristened Aegean Majesty.
Magellan and Columbus, CMV
The vessels that SeaJets have acquired from CMV have not yet been renamed. There has been no word from SeaJets regarding their intention to do so. However, SeaJets has remained generally tight-lipped with regards to their plans for their new vessels. Some have speculated that not all of the ships are destined to join the SeaJets cruise fleet but could instead be speculative investments to sell on at a later time.
Note: since publication SeaJets resold Magellan for demolition. She arrived in India to be scrapped in January 2021. In our previous comparison Magellan was the oldest and had the fewest balconies.
Since this piece was published SeaJets acquired Majesty of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International. She was renamed Majesty. As with SeaJets’ other acquisitions, they are playing their cards close to their chest for their plans for Majesty. However, she displaces Queen of the Oceans as the biggest vessel with the most berths.
How the ships compare
The oldest vessel: Columbus, 1988
The youngest vessel: Queen of the Oceans, 2000
The biggest vessel: Majesty, 2,767 berths, 270 metres length
The smallest vessel: Aegean Goddess, Aegean Myth. Both vessels contain 1258 berths and are 30.8 m length
The fewest balconies: Majesty, 63 balconies
The most balconies: Queen of the Oceans, 450 balconies
If SeaJets is indeed building a fleet for operation, it is interesting to see the raw material they are working with. All six ships in the fleet fall within the range of a mid-size cruise ship. This provides consistency and flexibility for future itineraries. It has been speculated that they may start with an Eastern Mediterranean itinerary.
All the cruise ships have undergone several refurbishments over their lifetime. This includes refurbishment to bring them in line with their cruise brands as they change hands, and to modernise them. However, there are a few vessels of the new ocean cruise fleet that betray their age. The oldest cruise ships Columbus and Majesty only boasts 64 and 63 balconies respectively, and those are only attached to state rooms. (Compare this to the bigger, and more modern, Queen of the Oceans, who boasts 450 balconies and hundreds of ocean views besides. The Aegean trio possess 149 and 193 balconies, sitting rather in the middle. It will be interesting to see whether SeaJets will take efforts to undergo large-scale refurbishment on the older vessels to add additional balconies, as this is one of the most popular features for modern cruise-goers.