Premier Cruises Sell-Off

At press time, several purchase bids were rumored to have been placed for the Oceanic, with interest in the ship reportedly from Paris Katsoufis, Imperial Majesty Cruise Line, and other parties. There were also reports of ongoing interest in the purchase of the Rembrandt (ex-Rotterdam V) by Dutch entrepreneur Joop Post for use as a floating hotel in Amsterdam. Meanwhile, the Big Red Boat II (ex­ Edinburgh Castle), owned by the ISP-controlled Progress Group, is being eyed by a new operation, Caribbean Odyssey Line, reportedly planning three- and four-night cruises from Port Canaveral to Nassau, Freeport and Key West starting March 30.

Bahamian authorities have confirmed that in last month’s Marshal’s Sale, the Oceanic was sold to Cruise Venture One Corp. for $20 million; the Big Red Boat ill (ex-Islandbreeze) was sold to Cruise Venture Two Corp. for $16 million; and the Rembrandt was sold to Cruise Venture Four Corp. for $18 million. According to a statement by DLJ Vice President Howard Shams, “DLJ has a controlling interest in each of the companies (Cruise Venture One, Two and Four),” and the Marshal’s Sale has rendered the vessels “free and clear of all liens and encumbrances.” Shams continued, “International Shipping Partners has been appointed as the technical manager for each of the vessels and is also involved in the sales/charter efforts on behalf of the owners.”

According to a statement by Premier liquidators PriceWaterHouseCoopers, the first meeting of creditors will be held on Jan. 21. It continued, “As of Sept. 18, 2000, the company’s principal creditor (DLJ) appears to have been owed more than $50 million and was secured by mortgages on the company-owned cruise ships. In . addition to the obligations of the company’s principal creditor, the company’s trade, employee wage claims, passenger deposits and other indebtedness appear to total approximately $73 million.” Premier’s total liabilities are listed at $122,044,000.  

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