AMCV files for Chapter 11
"We will continue to operate on a much reduced scale to focus on our Mississippi River cruises, which have been the historic core of our company," said Calian. The company is ceasing operations for its Hawaii vessels, the ms Patriot and the ss Independence, at today's completion of their current cruises. Four of the five Delta Queen vessels, including the American Queen, the Mississippi Queen, the Columbia Queen and the Cape May Light, also will cease operations at the completion of each vessel's current cruise over the next three days. But AMCV says the Delta Queen steamboat, the company's National Historic Landmark flagship, will continue to operate its scheduled future voyages.
AMCV intends to "work with Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Maritime Administration" to maintain construction on the two 1,900-passenger Project America ships,
In the fourweeks subsequent to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C., says AMCV, gross bookings declined 50%, cancellations increased 30% and and the company has faced a weakened cash position "with no prospects for additional capital at this time."
"As a result of the September 11
attacks, the Chapter 11 filing became the only alternative to us to preserve
our present cash supply, improve our balance sheet and minimize the impact,
as much as we are able, on affected passengers and other stakeholders,"
Calian said. Carnival affected, too
Carnival personnel will be working with AMCV shore-based employees in Hawaii to address issues that may arise in securing and laying up the ship pending its eventual disposition.
Carnival said it had received assurances from American Classic that all steps would be taken to enable passengers and crew to disembark the ship without difficulty and, further, that crew members would be paid their wages and have their travel costs covered to return home. AMCV purchased the 1,212-passenger former Nieuw Amsterdam from Carnival's Holland America Line unit in October 2000 for approximately $114.5 million.Carnival and American Classic had recently renegotiated the terms of the mortgage on the vessel to defer principal payments in the hope that doing so would enable the ship to continue operating.
If returned, Carnival has not determined how the vessel would be used.
One thing seems clear, another ship is the last thing Carnival is looking for right now.In a separate announcement yesterday, it disclosed that its Holland America unit had reached agreement with Fincantieri to accept delivery of its new ms Zuiderdam on November 15, 2002. Holland America chairman and CEO Kirk Lanterman noted that the yard agreed to defer delivery by 45 days and said that he "appreciated Fincantieri's cooperation in working with us to identify the best possible delivery date to meet our needs."
Corrado Antonini, chairman of Fincantieri, said, "We enjoy a very close and long-standing relationship with Holland America and are pleased we are able to accommodate them."