Louis Cruise Line

Louis Cruise Lines is a Cyprus-based shipping company that operates cruises from Cyprus, France, Italy and Greece (the operations from Greece were previously marketed under the name Louis Hellenic Cruise Lines, but as of 2008 there is no mention of the brand on Louis' website)[2]. The company also charters several ships to Thomson Cruises. Louis Cruise Lines was established in 1987 as a daughter company of Louis plc.

Louis Cruise Lines shares are quoted in the Cyprus Stock Exchange.

The Louis Cruise Lines fleet consist mainly of older second- or third-hand ships. One of them, the SS The Emerald, is the last ocean liner built in the United States still in service.

Louis Cruise Lines is the fifth largest cruise operator in the world.[3]
Company history

Louis Cruise Lines is a subsidiary of the Cyprus-based travel and tourism group Louis plc, that was founded in 1935 as the first travel agency in Cyprus. During the 1970s the company began chartering ferries for short cruises Cyprus, which eventually led to the purchase of the cruiseferry MV Prinsessan from the Finland-based Birka Line for $4 million in 1987. Renamed MV Princesa Marissa, the ship started making cruises from Limassol to the Greek Islaes, Egypt and Israel under the newly-established Louis Cruise Lines band.[3][4] By 1994 the company had acquired three more ships, all of which were used in the short cruise market from Cyprus.[3]
In the mid-90s Louis Cruise Lines entered the business of chartering ships to other companies, chartering MV Princesa Oceanica (renamed Sapphire) to the United Kingdom-based Thomson Cruises in 1996.[3][5] The following year the newly-acquired SS The Emerald was also chartered to Thomson.[6] In 1999 Louis chartered the 1998-acquired SS Ausonia to First Choice Holidays, one of Thomson's competitors in the UK market.[3][7] By this time the Louis fleet consisted of a total of eight ships. In 1999 Louis also acquired a stake in the Greece-based Royal Olympic Cruises. Royal Olympic was already in difficulties by the time Louis became involved with the company, and the September 11, 2001 attacks dealt a further blow, finally leading to the collapse of Royal Olympic in 2004.[3]

During the early 2000s Louis further modernised their fleet by acquiring MV Calypso in 2000, and chartering MV Nieuw Amsterdam from Holland America Line in 2003, immediately sub-chartering her to Thomson as MV Thomson Spirit. In 2004 Louis acquired MV Aquamarine from the fleet of the UK-based Sun Cruises (which had gone out of business).[3] Another former Sun Cruises ship, MV Thomson Destiny, was chartered from a Norway-based investment company and sub-chartered to Thomson Cruises.[8] The new acquisitions also made possible the sale of three of Louis' older vessels. Also in 2004, following the collapse of Royal Olympic Cruises, Louis Cruise Lines purchased two of their former ships at bargain prices and established their own Louis Hellenic Cruises brand for the Greek cruise market.[3]

Further espansion came in 2006 with the purchase of MV Orient Queen and MV Sea Diamond, another former Baltic Sea cruiseferry ppurchased from Birka Line, while Calypso was chartered to Thomson and Aquamarine (renamed Arielle) to Transocean Tours. Additionally Louis entered a franchise agreement with easyCruise to operate ships in the Eastern Mediterranean on behalf of easyCruise in the future. Disaster stroke in April 2007 when the Sea Diamond sunk off Santorini, Greece. All but two of the ship's passengers were safely evacuated, but the sinking resulted in a flurry of negative publicity for Louis.[3] MV Oceanic II and MV Ruby were chartered as temporary replacements for the Sea Diamond, until MV Cristal - former Silja Line cruise ship MV Silja Opera - entered service in July 2007.[3][9] In 2008 the Arielle was returned from her charter to Transocean Tours, reverted to her earlier name Aquamarine and entered service under the Louis Hellenic Cruises brand.[10] By early 2008 the Louis Hellenic Cruises brand appeared to have been abandoned.[2]

In April 2008 Louis Cruise Lines agreed to purchase MV Norwegian Dream and MV Norwegian Majesty from Star Cruises. The agreement at the time was to charter the ships back to Star Cruises/Norwegian Cruise Line until November 2008 and December 2009, respectively.[11] However, in September 2008 Louis cancelled the purchase of the Norwegian Dream due to "technical issues relating to the vessel".[12] In May 2008 Louis Cruise Lines purchased Thomson Destiny and Thomson Spirit that had previously been operated under charter. At the same time Princesa Marissa and Serenade were sold for scrap.[8]


* MV Aquamarine - Operates cruises from Greece. Previously chartered to Transocean Tours as Arielle.[13]
* MV Coral - Operates cruises from Spain;[10] previously Triton
* MV Cristal - Operates cruises from Greece;[13] Previously Silja Opera
* SS Ivory - Operates cruises from Cyprus.[14] previously Ausonia, The Ausonia, Ivory, Aegean Two.
* MV Orient Queen - Operates cruises from France and Italy;[13] previously Bolero
* MV Sapphire - Operates cruises from Cyprus.[14] Previously Princesa Oceanica

Chartered ships
* MV Aegean Pearl - Under charter to Golden Sun Cruises;[citation needed] previoulsly Perla (2004-2008).
* MV The Calypso - Under charter to Thomson Cruises; previously Regent Jewel.
* SS The Emerald - Under charter to Thomson Cruises until October 2008; previously Emerald
* MV Norwegian Majesty - Under charter to Norwegian Cruise Line until December 2009.[11]
* MV Thomson Destiny - Under charter to Thomson Cruises until 2011;[8] previously Sunbird.
* MV Thomson Spirit - Under charter to Thomson Cruises until 2011;[8] previously Patriot.

Former ships

* MV Princesa Marissa (1986-2008) - Sold for scrap 2008.[8]
* MV Princesa Cypria (1988-2005) - Scrapped.
* MV Princesa Amorosa (1994-2000) - Scrapped.
* MV Princesa Victoria (1994-2004) - Scrapped.
* MV Serenade (2000-2008) - Sold for scrap 2008.[8]
* MV Sea Diamond (2006-2007) - Sunk near Santorini, Greece, April 6, 2007.
* MV Oceanic II (2007) - Since 2008 MV Mona Lisa for Lord Nelson Seereisen.
* MV Ruby (2007) - Since December 2007 MV Ocean Countess for Monarch Classic Cruises.[10]


1. ^ "About Louis Cruise Lines". Louis Cruise Lines. Retrieved on 2008-03-22.
2. ^ a b "Cruises from Greece". Louis Cruise Lines. Retrieved on 2008-03-22.
3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Douglas Newman (2007-10-07). "Cruise Ship Reviews > Louis Cruise Lines". Cruise Critic. Retrieved on 2008-01-28.
4. ^ Micke Asklander. "M/S Finnhansa (1966)" (in in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved on 2008-01-28.
5. ^ Micke Asklander. "M/S Italia (1967)" (in in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved on 2008-01-28.
6. ^ Micke Asklander. "S/S Santa Rosa (1958)" (in in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved on 2008-01-28.
7. ^ Micke Asklander. "S/S Ausonia (1957)" (in in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved on 2008-01-28.
8. ^ a b c d e f Newman, Doug (2008-05-07). "Louis Sells Princesa Marissa and Serenade; Buys Thomson Destiny and Thomson Spirit". At Sea with Doug Newman. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
9. ^ Micke Asklander. "M/S Sally Albatross (1992)" (in in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved on 2008-01-28.
10. ^ a b c "Cruise Ship News: Aegean Shuffle". Maritime Matters (2008-01-25). Retrieved on 2008-01-26.
11. ^ a b "Louis acquires Norwegian Dream and Majesty". Cruise Business Review. Cruise Media Oy Ltd (2008-04-23). Retrieved on 2008-04-23.
12. ^ "No Dream for Louis Cruises". Cruise Business Review. Cruise Media Oy Ltd (2008-09-30). Retrieved on 2008-09-30.
13. ^ a b c "Cruise Ships". Louis Cruise Lines. Retrieved on 2008-01-26.
14. ^ a b "Cruise Ship News: The Aegean Shuffle, Updated: TWO For PEARL". Maritime Matters (2008-03-20). Retrieved on 2008-03-22.

Companies of Cyprus

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