The upcoming CFC Croisières, a French cruise line, has delayed the debut of its first vessel, Renaissance, due to ongoing technical work that requires more specialization than first realized.
As a result, more than six weeks of sailings are now cancelled, but booked guests are being offered significant compensation options.
Renaissance Delayed, Cruises Cancelled
CFC Croisières was initially scheduled to debut with Renaissance on May 14, 2023, but instead, the new company has been forced to cancel all sailings through June 28.
“During the multi-million-euro renovation and the extensive renovation of Renaissance in Brest, CFC Croisières encountered technical problems beyond its will, requiring pre-operational correction and the involvement of an additional specialist contractor,” the company explained in a statement.
“In order to allow the complete resolution of these problems before Renaissance begins its first season at the departure of the Havre, CFC Croisières is unfortunately forced to postpone its cruise operations until 29 June 2023.”
A total of six sailings are cancelled, as well as two nights of “Follies” – special one-night onboard gala events that allow guests to experience the ship and the company’s signature French flair without actually setting sail.
Guests who had been booked either for a full sailing or Follies events have a number of options. Full refunds are being made available, or guests may choose alternate dates on similar sailings with significant discounts.
Future discounts are also being offered for guests who do rebook their reservations. Stateroom upgrades and onboard credit are also being offered for guests to rebook on future sailings.
The exact sailing dates available for rebooking depend on the original cruise itinerary, with comparable cruises offered as alternatives. The renovated ship’s new maiden voyage will set sail on Thursday, June 29, 2023.
It is not completely unexpected that Renaissance would need extensive technical work, as the ship was originally constructed as Maasdam for Holland America Line in 1992, and entered service in 1993.
The ship was sold during the pandemic-related industry shutdown, and initially purchased by Seajets (a Greek/Cypriot ferry company) to operate as Aegean Myth, but never entered service for the line. In 2022, CFC Croisières purchased the vessel and began renovating it for the new line, to be very aptly named Renaissance.
As an older ship, Renaissance would need significant upgrades to meet the expectations of a more modern and competitive market. Part of the CFC Croisières’ intention was to lower the ship’s overall capacity from 1,258 guests to just 1,100 guests, which could create more suites or larger staterooms onboard as well as ensure superior service.
Additional technical upgrades will be necessary to bring the ship up to current safety and environmental standards, as well as to improve and enhance public areas.
CFC Croisières is planning an extensive variety of itineraries with destinations all over the world, from the British Isles, northern Europe, and the Canary Islands to various African destinations, ports in the Caribbean, the Greek Islands, Iceland, and much more.
Most notably, Renaissance will set sail on a “World Tour” voyage in January 2024, visiting dozens of amazing ports of call for the 120-night sailing.
No indication has yet been made as to whether or not CFC Croisières intends to purchase a second vessel to further expand its offerings, or whether the new cruise line may be able to invest in a new-build cruise ship in the near future.