New Offerings for Vision Star, Athena

The Vision Star, which was originally expected to sail three- and four-day cruises from Piraeus to the Greek isles and Turkey via “an agreement between Mediterranean Classic Cruises (MCC) and Golden Star Cruises with Vision Cruises,” is now sailing for Spanish Quail Cruises as the Gemini out of Valencia, along with the New Pacific (ex-Ocean Countess), owned by Majestic International Cruises.

Vision Cruises has since ceased operations, and Golden Star will only be selling cruises for Louis Cruise Lines and easyCruise this year. However, the company hopes to be chartering a ship in 2010 – “with a capacity of around 600,” a spokesperson said.

MCC was expected to act as sales and marketing agent for the Vision Star and Athena this year, but are only acting as agents for the easyCruise Life. “We intend to have our own vessel in 2010 – 800 to 1,000 passengers. There are some ships from the 1980s we are looking at,” said a spokesperson at MCC.

The Athena, which was slated to sail Egypt, Holy Land, Cyprus, Turkey and the Greek isles cruises under owner Classic International Cruises (CIC), is now chartered to German Phoenix Reisen. The ship is sailing in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean during the summer and fall. Winter deployment is still pending.

MCC (formerly Monarch Classic Cruises) specializes in “premium, destination-rich itineraries in the Aegean and Mediterranean.” CIC, owned by George Potamianos, has four vessels: (in addition to the Athena) the 576-passenger Princess Danae, 324-passenger Arion, 482-passenger Princess Daphne, and the 482-passenger Funchal. The company’s headquarters are in Lisbon.

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