Premier Cruise Line has announced its acquisition of the Atlantic through a lease agreement with a financial holding company. The seven-year lease includes extension options.
The 36,500-ton vessel will be renamed the Star/Ship Atlantic and will begin offering three- and four-night cruises from Cape Canaveral to the Bahamas, December 19, 1988.
The Atlantic, which will be delivered by Home Lines to Premier in November, will undergo refurbishment and design changes making her more suited to the family-oriented market, according to Bjornar Hermansen, Executive Vice President. The work, which is estimated to cost around $5.5 million, will be done at the Norfolk shipyards.
According to Hermansen, the line plans to build onboard facilities for children and teenagers and indoor/outdoor restaurants for family-oriented meals. All interior furnishings , including carpets, curtains, and furniture will also be replaced to reflect the more colorful and youthful orientation of the cruise line.
With a passenger capacity of 1,600, the ship will increase the line’s overall capacity by more than 60 percent.
In 1987, Premier carried more than 200,000 passengers, of which more than 130,000 sailed as part of the line’s one-week vacation package offered in conjunction with Disney World.
Concurrent with the Star/Ship Atlantic’s introduction, the Star/Ship Royale will be taken out of service for extensive refurbishment and will return to service in mid-February 1989. It is also expected that she will go to Norfolk.
Premier currently has a five-year agreement with Disney World and is in the process of negotiating a new ten-year agreement. While the cruise line benefits from the association with Disney World, the line is also Disney World’s largest customer. Its passengers buy more tickets than any other group.
Premier is a subsidiary of The Greyhound Corporation, and began its cruise operations in 1984 with the Star/Ship Royale. In 1986, the line also acquired the Oceanic from Home Lines and was appointed the official cruise line of Walt Disney World.