The maiden voyage of Renaissance I is scheduled for November 22, when she sails from La Spezia, Italy to the Suez Canal/Red Sea.
The 100-passenger, 290-foot, 4,500-ton vessel will be offering “charter revenue” programs in the Red Sea, with calls in Jordan and Egypt, until late December. At that time she will sail from Cairo to Singapore and commence regularly scheduled cruises from Singapore as of January 27, 1990. Prior to her arrival in Singapore, the Renaissance I will be catering to group travel.
The Renaissance I will be positioned in the Far East. Renaissance Cruises plans to launch their seven other ships over the next two years as follows: Renaissance II/delivered March, 1990; III/July, 1990; IV /September, 1990; V/October, 1990; VI/January, 1991; VII/mid-summer, 1991; VIII/October, 1991.
According to a company spokesperson, Renaissance Cruises plans to blanket the world with their vessels. The cruise markets covered by their ships will include the Mediterranean; Scandinavia and Northern Europe, including southern France and Spain; Africa; the Red and Black Seas; South America; and the Caribbean.
Cruises will be sold in seven/fourteen/twenty one day modules.
When launched, the Renaissance II, for example, will begin offering cruises in the Mediterranean, then continue to southern France and Spain, and on to Scandinavia. Therefore, cruises will run in continuum and passengers will be able to cruise either just one area or select a longer trip, traveling all the way from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia, for example. When the entire fleet is in operation, all eight above mentioned cruise areas will be covered by alternating vessels.
According to a spokesperson, the new ships will be more “refined and intimate; elegant and relaxed” than traditional cruise ships. Passengers will receive excellent service as they would on any luxury liner, along with an educational atmospere, he said. Guest lecturers will be on board to discuss topics and assign reading related to the destination. Therefore, passengers will be those who are interested in learning and improving themselves. Since the Renaissance I is a small vessel, the company will market some of their cruises to charter groups, such as the American Museum of Natural History.
The first four ships of the fleet will be identical and will accommodate 100 passengers in 50 suites, while the second four will have 57 suites and accommodate 114 passengers. Cabins on the Renaissance I are all outside and measure 220 square feet. Staterooms feature: a sitting area which is separate from the sleeping area; queen size beds which are convertible to two twins; remote color television and VCR; telephone; security drawer; and mini-bar.
The ship has one single-seating dining room which serves international cuisine with “an Italian accent.” There will be an emphasis on lighter, American style food preparation. Weather permitting, breakfast and lunch will be served buffet style on the deck. Inside there is a piano bar, lounge, blackjack table, masseuse, beauty salon, laundry service, medical clinic, and sports facilities which include rowing machines and exercise bikes.
In addition, 24 hour room service will be available. The crew of Renaissance I are of mixed European background while the officers are Italian.
The per diem rate for the Renaissance I is $390 which includes airfare from New York City and Los Angeles along with a two-night hotel stay on both ends of the program. Departures from any other gateways are add-on fares.
Renaissance’s main office is in Fort Lauderdale with seven regional sales managers throughout the country. All shore excursions for the Renaissance fleet will be handled by Travel Dynamics of New York City. According to sources, Travel Dynamic’s President, George Papagapitos, and Vice President, Vasos Papagapitos, are on Renaissance’s Bord of Directors and are charterers of Renaissance vessels.