Former Carnival-Owned Vessels to Become Residential Ships

Two former Carnival-owned Holland America cruise ships will sail as residential ships, with guests able to rent a cabin.

Victoria Cruises Line, a Cyprus-based company, revealed details about its new concept for cruising – a long-term residential experience where guests rent staterooms for a minimum of six months aboard its two ships operating world cruises.

The line bills the trips as affordable lifestyles at sea while the ships, which formerly sailed for a Carnival Corporation brand, cruise the globe for about 27 months, visiting 200-plus destinations.

Former Holland America Vessels

Victoria Cruises Line announced that its two ships, operating under the names Victoria Majestic and Victoria Amazing, are due to depart on world cruises on May 1 from Fort Lauderdale and April 1 from Livorno, Italy, respectively.

Guests can rent cabins for the full 27-month sailings or for as many months as they wish, as long as they meet the six-month minimum.

Zaandam Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Holland America Line

The ships are the former Holland America Line ships, with one of them confirmed as the previously named Veendam. The buyer of Veendam was SeaJets, which renamed the ships Aegean Majesty. Veendam left the Holland America fleet in August 2020 and was later sold by SeaJets to Victoria Cruises Line.

In the same fleet reduction, Carnival also sold the Amsterdam and the Rotterdam to an unnamed buyer, which was confirmed to be the British line Fred Olsen Cruises. The ships were renamed Bolette and Borealis. Maasdam was also offloaded to SeaJets and eventually was sold on to French-based Compagnie Française de Croisières (CFC).

Long Stays In Port

According to the line, the ships will spend up to seven days in each port, enabling guests to immerse themselves in the destinations and local cultures.

Victoria Cruises Line CEO Olavs Zvinelis said, ”Victoria Cruises Line offers our customers a unique lifestyle that is completely new to the shipping industry. We provide rental cabins at affordable prices to clients who want to live on a boat and travel the world without any strings attached. It’s our mission to deliver a unique houseboat experience for our residents, who will live on board like a little family.”

According to the company, guests booking lowest-cost inside cabins can rent the space for $7,999 per month for two guests. Ocean-view cabins cost $10,999 per month for two people, and a suite with a veranda costs $34,999 per month for two guests.

Victoria Cruises
Photo Credit: Victoria Cruises Line

In the line’s February 15 announcement, Zvinelis said that 50% of the staterooms and suites are booked and the majority of cruisers have chosen the unlimited, undefined rental period.

Zvinelis added, ”We have no competitors. Our value for money is by far the best, even compared to classic cruise ships. Rather than the ownership option, which is too costly for many, Victoria Cruises Line is proposing an intermediate solution: chartering. This will give people a much more affordable way to travel and live on a houseboat. In summary, a houseboat lifestyle can offer much more than a classic cruise.”

He said that if the line’s first two ships are a success, the company will expand.

Victoria Majestic Open For Bookings

The Victoria Cruises Line is accepting bookings for the 57,092 gross ton, 1,350-guest Victoria Majestic, but not for the 55,575 gross ton Victoria Amazing, a search on the site found.

The 10-deck Victoria Majestic has four restaurants, two pools, spa and fitness centers, a theater, a library and casino, and sports courts. Inside and oceanview staterooms are offered, as well as suites.

The sailings will call at destinations in the Caribbean, North and South America, Asia, Netherlands Indies, Australia, Africa, Arabian countries, Europe and Greenland, the route map on its website shows.

Stateroom rentals on the ships include all dining, beer and wine, internet access, self-laundry, weekly housekeeping, all onboard facilities and medical support.

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