Sunday, 5 October 2008

Low bookings prompt Fantasea Ammari withdrawal

Source: Seatrade Insider

Low forward bookings and increasing operating costs are behind the decision to withdraw the Great Barrier Reef cruise ship Fantasea Ammari from service on the eve of Australia’s peak holiday season.

Reservations manager Matt Raymant said the 68-passenger ship also needs some ‘unplanned basic maintenance’ and will go into drydock after its final voyage for the year on October 31.

Fantasea Ammari is the former Rivage St Martin that was built by the Austal shipyard in Western Australia. It was bought by family-owned Brisbane-based Riverside Marine from Ustica Lines in 2006 and has been operating three- and four-night cruises from Hamilton Island.

Raymant said that Riverside Marine, which also owns the day cruise operation Fantasea Cruises and the Reefworld pontoon, plans to launch new itineraries for Fantasea Ammari in the New Year.

‘We are looking at new destinations on the east coast of Australia,’ he said.