Royal Caribbean venture targets French market

Continuing its expansion in Europe, Royal
Caribbean Cruises has announced that it is launching a new cruise
brand, CDF Croisières de France, committed to the French market.The
new brand will begin sailing its first ship, Bleu de France, in May,
2008, after the ship has completed extensive renovations and undergone a
cultural transformation wholly adapting the brand experience to French

        The new line will operate one ship initially when it begins
operations. The 376-cabin ship was the former luxury liner Europa when
it was owned by Hapag Lloyd. Currently, it is Pullmantur’s Holiday
Dream. As the flagship of the new brand, Bleu de France will benefit
from a €30-million overhaul, significantly altering many of the ship’s
public spaces, guest accommodations, entertainment venues and dining


The onboard experience of Bleu de France’s guests will be totally
French, from cuisine to entertainment to decor.  French will be the
language used on the ship as well.



The ship will sail a Mediterranean itinerary, departing from Marseille,
France, starting in Spring, 2008.  It will shift to a Caribbean
routing, sailing out of La Romana, Dominican Republic, beginning in
Winter, 2008-2009.   


“We are thrilled with this opportunity to enter the French cruise market
with a custom-tailored brand for French cruisers,” said CDF Croisières
de France Managing Director Brigitte Tissier.  “Our start-up efforts
will clearly benefit from the global success and experience of Royal
Caribbean Cruises Ltd.‘s family of brands, and we look forward to
launching another stellar brand into that circle of excellence.”


Equally enthusiastic about the new brand, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Chairman and CEO Richard Fain, added, “We are very excited about
bringing French cruising to the French market. We have a high demand for
the product, a ship tailor-made for the market, and a highly talented
team to lead the effort.  I couldn’t be more pleased.”