In late January, Festival Cruises (of Greek-Italian interests) was broiled in talks with creditors in an attempt to reverse a decision to auction off its three recently acquired cruise ships — the Mistral, European Vision and European Star. In mid February, Festival announced its Flamenco cruise vessel had been sold for $12.25 million and that similar deals were in the fire for the vessels Azur and Bolero. The Gibraltar authorities were holding the three vessels after petitions by creditors.
Festival says it hopes that once the three vessels “change hands” and cash is turned over to creditors the company will be able to free its Mistral, European Vision and European Star from immobilization in Barcelona, Barbados and Marseilles. If all goes according to plan, the vessels will be back in operation this month.
Meanwhile, Greece’s Royal Olympic Cruises awaits decisions by its biggest creditor, Fortis Bank of Holland, which holds the future of the company in its hands. If an agreement can be reached, ROC will petition for a six- to nine-month stay on its debts in the hopes that summer revenue will cover much of its immediate debts. German bank creditors took ROC’s two newest vessels, Olympia Explorer and Olympia Voyager as settlement for loans against same.