MV BLEU DE FRANCE. Photo (c) Peter Knego May 2009
Maritime sources and several cruise publications have indicated that UK’s Saga Cruises will shortly announce the acquisition of CDF Croisières de France’s MV BLEU DE FRANCE (ex EUROPA, SUPERSTAR ARIES, HOLIDAY DREAM).
The 1981-built vessel measures 37,301 gt and accommodates 700 passengers. In 2008, she was given a US$40 million refit by her French cruise operator CDF Croisières de France.
It is expected Saga will also refit the ship for its clientele, passengers over 50 years old. BLEU DE FRANCE currently is fitted with three swimming pools, a casino, library and children’s play area.
BLEU DE FRANCE has recently begun a season of South American cruises for the Brazilian tour operator, CVC. Saga will most likely allow the ship to complete an additional season with CVC in 2011 before joining Saga in 2012.
Saga Cruises currently operate SAGA RUBY (ex VISTAFJORD, CARONIA) and SAGA PEARL II (ex ASTORIA) as well as the SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE (ex BERLIN, PRINCESS MAHSURI, ORANGE MELODY), the latter under its Spirit of Adventure Cruises brand, with no 50-year age passenger minimum.