Thursday 18 June 2015

Blue Lagoon Cruises' Mystique Princess back in service

Mystique Princess (Roderick Eime)

Fiji's premium small ship cruise company, Blue Lagoon Cruises, has announced it is bringing its popular ship Mystique Princess back into service.

"Quite simply, market demand dictates that we will very soon need Mystique Princess back on the water to accompany her sister ship the Fiji Princess," CEO of Blue Lagoon Cruises, Peter Duncan, said in making the announcement.

He told travel industry delegates and media attending this year's Fiji Tourism Exchange that bookings for cruises aboard the Fiji Princess have increased significantly to a point where the company is already facing capacity issues on quite a number of departures.

"We are very excited about bringing Mystique Princess back into service to meet this pleasing demand. She will receive a comprehensive refurbishment over the next 18 months and we're aiming to celebrate her re-launch early in 2017."

Mr Duncan said concept plans had been drawn up and that Blue Lagoon Cruises would be making further announcements as plans firmed.

"At this point, I can tell you the makeover will be a thorough stem to stern that covers all on board facilities, including an all-new décor for passenger cabins and the public areas of the ship."

Cruise passengers in Australia, New Zealand and in key northern hemisphere markets are increasingly keen on the style of 'coastal cruising' offered aboard the Blue Lagoon Cruises Fiji Princess, he said.

At 55 metres in length and with a capacity of just 68 passengers, the boutique Fiji Princess is petite enough to explore remote islands and bays inaccessible to larger vessels.

"We cruise the stunningly beautiful islands of Fiji's Yasawa group and we pride ourselves on showing passengers insights into the Fijian culture. Our all-Fijian on board staff and crew welcome guests as if to their own homes, and through their songs, visits to their villages during the cruise and such aspects as the traditional kava ceremony, they also impart knowledge of their culture."

He said part of the increased market demand was inquiry for special charters, such as the United States based Betchart Expeditions charter that departs Port Denarau aboard the Fiji Princess on Friday to explore one of the world's greatest mysteries - the disappearance of the American aviatrix Amelia Earhart.

"We know the decision to bring back Mystique Princess will be warmly welcomed by our industry partners in our key markets around the world," Mr Duncan said. "They have worked closely with us over the past couple of years in promoting Blue Lagoon Cruises and the Fiji Princess experience. It's a tribute to the dedication of these people and our staff that we are now in a position to return this popular ship to service."

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