Continuing its expansion in Europe, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL)
announced it is launching a new cruise brand, CDF Croisières de France, committed to the French market. The new brand will begin sailing its first ship, Bleu de France, in May, 2008, after the ship has completed extensive renovations and undergone a cultural transformation wholly adapting the brand experience to French tastes. The new line will operate one ship initially when it begins operations. The 376-cabin ship was the former luxury liner Europa when
it was owned by Hapag Lloyd. Currently, it is Pullmantur’s Holiday Dream. As the flagship of the new brand, Bleu de France will
benefit from a €30-million overhaul, significantly altering many of the ship’s public spaces, guest accommodations, entertainment venues and dining options.
The onboard experience of Bleu de France’s guests will be totally French, from cuisine to entertainment to decor. French will be the language used on the ship as well.
The ship will sail a Mediterranean itinerary, departing from Marseille, France, starting in Spring, 2008. It will shift to a Caribbean routing, sailing out of La Romana, Dominican Republic, beginning in Winter, 2008-2009.