Norwegian sells its Majesty ship

The Baltimore Sun

Thanks to a reader, I recently became aware that Norwegian Cruise Line sold its Majesty cruise ship earlier this year. The cruise ship, which has been making runs from Baltimore to Bermuda for the past year or so, was sold for $162 million to Louis Group, a hotel and cruise business based in Cyprus. Norwegian plans to continue to operate cruises using the ship through October 2009. So if you already have a booking aboard the Majesty for 2009, there should be no problem with your trip and you probably won't notice any difference. The ship's final trip from Baltimore will be a repositioning cruise next August. Sometime next fall, the ship likely will be redeployed to an area, such as the Mediterranean, where Louis Group Cruises operate.

This all raises the question: Will Norwegian Cruise Line shuffle its lineup to deploy another, possibly newer, ship to Baltimore for 2010? (Although recently refurbished, the smallish Majesty ship was starting to show its age.) Or will Norwegian simply sail away? And if it does, will it matter, since Baltimore's port has gained two new cruise lines, Celebrity and Carnival? A representative for Norwegian said the cruise line was still working on its forthcoming assignments, but a schedule for summer 2010 released last week did not list any cruises from Baltimore to Bermuda or anywhere else. According to Richard Scher, a port spokesman, discussions with Norwegian about future cruises are continuing. Still, Scher concedes it is a "possibility" that Norwegian will not offer cruises from Baltimore in 2010.

Bermuda fans need not worry; Royal Caribbean continues to offer cruises from Baltimore to the island aboard the Grandeur of the Seas.

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