UK-based Ambassador Cruise Line’s second ship, newly launched in May 2023, made her inaugural visit to the Port of Bristol. The cruise line markets itself as a premium, no-fly line geared to British cruisers looking to sail from UK ports.
Ambition Begins Six-Itinerary Cruise Series
Ambition, a 1,200-guest ship operated by Ambassador Cruise Line, arrived at England’s Port of Bristol to begin a series of sailings from the port’s Royal Portbury Dock. The ship’s current 11-night “British Isles Discovery” itinerary will take guests to destinations such as Dundee, Isle of Skye, and Isle of Mull, Scotland, and Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The ship began sailing for Ambassador Cruise Line in May 2023, and followed the launch of the line’s first ship, Ambience, which debuted in 2022. The cruise line was formed in 2021, becoming the first new British cruise line to join the industry since 2010.
Ambition is the former AIDAmira, which formerly sailed for AIDA Cruises. Ambassador announced in early 2022 that it was acquiring the ship. Prior to joining the AIDA fleet, the ship, built in 1999, also sailed for Festival Cruises, Ibero Cruises, and Costa Cruises.
Ambition will offer six sailings from Bristol in 2023, including the “British Isles Discovery” voyages plus short, two-night “A Taste of Ambassador” cruises and longer voyages as well, such as the 17-night “Jewels of the Mediterranean” cruise, departing on September 16.
The ship offers 680 cabins, including 113 suites and 125 balcony staterooms. She has two main dining rooms, specialty dining venues, a wellness center, and two pools.
Cruise Line Finds Success With No-Fly Option
The cruise line caters to guests who wish to avoid flying to an embarkation port, and offers departures from London Tilbury, Newcastle Tyne, Dundee, Edinburgh Leith, Falmouth, Liverpool, and Belfast, in addition to Bristol.
“We’re seeing significant demand for Bristol sailings on our small to mid-size ships with holidaymakers from the West eager to get away this year. Our no-fly holiday options have proved a real hit, with guests telling us that they love driving to a port, parking their car and boarding our ships with a minimum of hassle,” said Christian Verhounig, CEO of Ambassador Cruise Line.
Verhounig added the expansion of the Ambassador fleet to two ships shows the strength of the cruise line and the wider cruise industry in general.
“We are excited to welcome Britain’s newest cruise line to Bristol Port, giving local residents of the West a quality range of no-fly cruises from the Port,” said James Stangroom, Director of The Bristol Port Company.
The Bristol Port Company has two cruise ship docks: Avonmouth Docks and Royal Portbury Dock. In 2023, Bristol will see 14 cruise calls, including the six from Ambition. In 2024, the port expects 18 cruise ship calls, and seven of those will be from Ambition.
Line’s First Ship Debuted in 2022
The 48,123-gross ton ship’s inaugural sailing from Bristol follows 18 months after the launch of Ambassador’s first ship, the 70,285-gross ton Ambience. In her first season with Ambassador Cruise Line, Ambience, which accommodates 1,400 guests, sailed 18 cruises and accommodated nearly 30,000 passengers.
She entered service in 1990 and formerly sailed with the Princess Cruises fleet. The ship features 789 staterooms in six cabin categories. Together, Ambience and Ambition will visit 166 ports in 60 countries during the 2023/24 season.
Among the upcoming cruises aboard Ambition is a special two-night sailing from Bristol to London, departing on November 10 and featuring British actress and celebrity Linda Lusardi. The cruise will offer a special program of events that includes a gala dinner, performances by the Ambassador Theater Company, and a conversation session with Lusardi.
Ambassador Cruise Line is an adults-only line, except for certain, advertised multigenerational sailings, and is geared to the 50-plus market.