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Ambassador interview main min
Credit: Shutterstock/Ambassador

'Traditional cruising with style' Ambassador Cruise Line chairman on new cruise line

Author: Vicky Mayer

Published on:

Ambassador Cruise Line is bursting onto the cruising scene with sailings in 2022. We caught up with the company's boss to find out more.

Gordon Wilson is the chairman of new British cruise line Ambassador Cruise Line, launching in spring 2022.

Here he reveals what to expect on board.

What can you tell us about Ambassador Cruises?

Our CEO is Christian Verhounig, who headed up Cruise & Maritime, so there will be some similarities between the two lines. Also, we hired some of our new staff from CMV, because they are the best in the industry.

Can your guests expect new technology onboard?

Yes, I previously worked at a company that developed the EasyJet app, and that’s the sort of tech we will be bringing aboard Ambassador Cruises.

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What kind of ships will you be operating?

Traditional oceangoing cruise ships in the 1,400-passenger range. We think there’s a healthy demand for that type of cruise but we won’t be buying new ships because the waiting list is too long.

Instead, we’re going to buy existing ships and upgrade them – starting with Ambience, which was previously owned by P&O. She already has a great theatre and restaurants but we’re upgrading the cabins and suites. Staterooms will be from 50sq m upwards, and a quarter will have balconies.

- READ MORE: Ambassador Cruise Line unveils 20% off cruise holidays -

Why did you choose Tilbury as your home port?

We think Tilbury is great because when we sail, we will be the only ship there. Also, the car parking is plentiful and cheap, and we just think it delivers a better customer experience to our guests. So for the foreseeable future, we are going to stick with no-fly cruises from Tilbury.

How do you see the future of the cruise industry in the post-Covid world?

There is plenty of pent-up demand to travel, so I think the future of cruise is very healthy. As for trends, a lot of lines – including us – will take environmental issues even more seriously. For our guests, buying new experiences is going to be really important, and we also know that our potential customers want the chance to dress up again, so it’s our mission to bring style back into travel.

Ambience min
Ambassador Cruise Line: "We’re going to buy existing ships and upgrade them – starting with Ambience. Credit: Ambassador

Where will you be sailing to?

We’re going to be heading for the Arctic, the Norwegian fjords, Iceland and the Baltic. In winter we’re planning to sail to the Canaries, Cuba and the Caribbean. But we don’t want to share ports with the bigger ships, so you will see some more unusual itineraries.

Will you be offering 2-for-1 deals and a world cruise?

We’re not sure about 2-for-1s yet but never say never. World cruises are definitely on the agenda – 80-day cruises are really popular with our audience and they offer exceptional value.

Why are you launching in 2022 and not this year?

Because that’s when the ship will be fully refurbished and ready to sail – and hopefully by the time we launch in April 2022, there won’t be any barriers because of the pandemic.

Woman on ship min
Ambassador Cruise Line: "I think the future of cruise is very healthy." Credit: Ambassador

Tell us a little about the cuisine onboard...

We’re planning on running with five restaurants and two cafes but there won’t be any buffets on board. Some of our restaurants will be themed and premium, and you’ll find a mixture of cuisines, from British to Italian, Indian and Thai.

- READ MORE: Ambassador Cruise Line CEO on Ambience's community, 'luxury' space and no 'gimmicks' -

How would you sum up the Ambassador Cruises experience?

Traditional cruising with style is what we are all about. We want to treat our guests like ambassadors, and all our staff will be trained to deliver that experience. That’s our top priority because, at the end of the day, service is one of the biggest differentiators you have.

How did you decide on the name Ambassador Cruises, and have you chosen a ship’s godmother yet?

I came up with Ambassador in a brainstorming session. But as for godmothers, we haven’t decided yet. Any suggestions?

Get on board

Prices start at £509 for a 6-night ‘Taste of Fjordland’ cruise, departing 10 April 2022. For more information, see ambassadorcruiseline.com

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