GULF OFFSHORE 2002
Voyager Cruises applies for Title XI
The Voyager Cruises project has been strongly supported by the Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P) maritime union, which would supply masters, deck officers and certain supervisory personnel. Originally, the project was dependent on legislation, (S.127/HR 2901) that would allow for the temporary operation of foreign built U.S.-flag cruise ships between U.S. ports while the vessel owner builds at least two replacement cruise vessels in an American shipyard.
Now, though, the demise of AMCV, looks to have cleared the way for Voyager to set its sites on the Hawiian market.
Albert C. Wallack, president of Voyager Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the DArcinoff Group, today announced the companys plans to initiate United States-flag cruise vessel operations in both Hawaii and Alaska.
Wallack is a cruise industry veteran. He was a founder and senior VP of Celebrity Cruises; the Chairman of the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) and, most recently, president of Royal Olympic Cruises, U.S.A. The DArcinoff Group is an American owned maritime investment and holding company created to acquire and construct cruise vessels for United States domestic markets.
The operation of these vessels would, according to Wallack, "enable our company to recruit and train U.S. personnel, to establish itineraries, to develop a market identity, to generate capital, and create jobs for American workers in all positions aboard our vessels. Such legislative authority allowing us to bridge the period between the commencement of construction and the delivery of our new vessels is the only proven, realistic way for a new venture cruise company to enter the cruise industry."
Though the waiver Voyager will be seeking seems likely to follow the AMCV model, the package it offers tourists will be rather different.
Again, the company appears to be pursuing an opportunity opened up by the AMCV bankruptcy. Voyager says it "plans to acquire two coastal cruise vessels presently controlled by the Maritime Administration and incorporate these vessels into the Glacier Bay Cruiseline fleet, providing additional capacity for this Native owned Alaska company."
The only two coastal cruise vessels on MarAd's books are, of course, the two built by Atlantic Marine for AMCV.
While Voyager may be seeking to make the most of the situation created by the AMCV bankruptcy, that evidently doesn't extend to picking up the pieces left over at Ingalls. It is understood that it has its own cruise ship design that it is very happy with and that its plans are for a vessel with gas turbine power and waterjet propulsion.
Wallack will not identify the existing ships it plans to acquire (how many R-Ships add up to 3,400?) but is adamant that "they will not be old ships!"