Europa Cruise Line, which recently completed a successful public offering, plans a third ship to its fleet of one-day cruisers begining December 1, 1989. The 800-plus passenger Europa Jet will sail year-round between San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico.
According to Europa’s President, Peter Booth, the vessel has been acquired under a charter party agreement. At this time, the name of the group which bought the vessel and chartered it to Europa Cruise Line was not disclosed, nor was the amount spent on buying and refurbishing the Europa Jet.
The Europa Jet, formerly the 1,488-ton, 338-foot Baltic Jet, was built in 1985 in Germany and used as a ferry in the Baltic. As Booth stated, the vessel will drydock in September; at press time, no shipyard had been selected. Most of the work done on the ship will be cosmetic, interior changes including removal of duty free shops and expansion of dining facilities and a lounge for shows. Other features include a casino, small pool and changing rooms.
The cruises will range in price from $79 – $89. According to Charles Liberis, Chairman of the company, they plan to package some of their trips with conventions at the San Diego Convention Center, opening in November. The day cruises will call at Ensenada for approximately three hours of shopping and dining.
Europa Cruise Line is in the midst of gathering manpower and facilities for opening a new office in San Diego. This operation, devoted solely to the Europa Jet, will employ approximately 200 people, including office staff and crew. Presently, Europa Cruise Line’s main office is in Pensacola, with two other offices in Jacksonville and Madeira Beach.
According to Stanley Westover, Manager of Marine Operations at San Diego’s Port, the port has ample facilities to handle Europa’s passengers. “This will have quite a positive affect on San Diego, since it is an ideal base for operating cruises to Mexico,” Westover remarked.