Phoenix Sells 1973-Built Cruise Ship to Egyptian Hotel Group

The cruise ship Albatros circa 2009 (Andreas Trepte)

Published Oct 11, 2020 5:11 PM by The Maritime Executive

German-market cruise company Phoenix Reisen has announced the sale of the cruise ship Albatros to a longstanding partner. The vessel will be redeployed to a permanent mooring in the Red Sea, where she will serve as a hotel ship. 

In a statement, Phoenix said that while it is looking forward to returning to service, it also has to keep an eye on its profitability. "Therefore, with a heavy heart, we have now decided to hand over the MS Albatros from the Phoenix fleet to new hands," the firm said.

Kamel Abou-Ali, a hotelier with more than 15 properties in Egypt, has purchased the vessel for use as a hotel ship on Egypt's Red Sea coast. 

"Our Albatros was a popular part of our ocean-going shipping fleet for many years, and we are sad that . . . due to the corona situation we have to say goodbye to her. We are very happy that the ship has a future for tourism and that we can offer our guests holidays on board MS Albatros, albeit under a different name, in Egypt," said Phoenix managing director Benjamin Krumpen.

The sale means that future cruises aboard the Albatros must be canceled. Seven itineraries in the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, South America and Europe are affected, and Phoenix plans to offer alternative voyages to passengers with existing bookings. The firm will continue to operate its four other ocean-going cruise ships, the MS Amadea, MS Amera, MS Artania and MS Deutschland.

Albatros dates to an earlier era of cruising. She was built in 1973 as the Royal Viking Sea at then-Wärtsilä Helsinki Shipyard in Finland (now Helsinki Shipyard). After changing hands many times, she entered long-term charter to Phoenix in 2004. Since entering service with Phoenix, she has completed nine circumnavigations of the world.