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Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by

The COSTA VOYAGER has been sold to Chinese interests as the first ship of a new cruise line.

The COSTA VOYAGER has been sold to Chinese interests as the first ship of a new cruise line.

Costa Crociere S.p.A.,  wasted little time in selling off their smallest ship, the 24,391 gross ton COSTA VOYAGER (ex OLYMPIC VOYAGER, OLYMPIA VOYAGER, VOYAGER, GRAND VOYAGER) which spent less than three years with the company. The Chinese Bohai Ferry Company, Ltd., intends to become the newest entrant in the cruise business. They reportedly paid $43.68 million for the fast 27 knot cruise ship, built in 2000 for Royal Olympic Cruises.  The COSTA VOYAGER had come to Costa Cruises from their Ibero Cruceros Spanish subsidiary fairly recently in 2011.  Last year, as Costa was in the midst of revamping their image and making adjustments to their fleet, Carnival Chairman Micky Arison stated, “Our intention is to sell off older, less-efficient ships,” and revealed that two members of the Costa fleet would be laid up or sold in 2014.  The COSTA VOYAGER is the first to go and will be replaced by the 48,206 ton, 710-foot long  COSTA NEORIVIERA (ex MISTRAL, GRAND MISTRAL) which is also a transfer from the Ibero Cruceros division.  Along with the rebuilt COSTA NEOROMANTICA (ex COSTA ROMANTICA), the two ships will form an upscale division of the company known as the Costa neoCollection featuring a “slow cruising” concept, meaning a more intimate atmosphere, longer port calls, and a focus on locally sourced foods.   Although the COSTA VOYAGER was described in early publicity materials as “human sized” it proved too small for the demands of a primarily mass-market line like Costa.

The COSTA NEORIVIERA is the newest member of the upscale "Costa neoCollection" division.

The COSTA NEORIVIERA is the newest member of the upscale “Costa neoCollection” division.

The German-built, former Greek and Italian cruise ship should make a very attractive addition to the burgeoning Chinese cruise fleet.  Constructed by Blohm + Voss, it was the first new ship to be built for the defunct Royal Olympic Cruises and in addition to her attractive interior design is notable as being one of the fastest ships in the world.  In its current configuration it is capable of carrying 804 passengers.

The 35,000 gross ton BOHAI JINGZHU which translates as "Crystal Pearl" entered service in October, 2012.

The 35,000 gross ton BOHAI JINGZHU which translates as “Crystal Pearl” entered service in October, 2012.

Bohai Ferry Company, Ltd., is a publicly traded company on the Shanghai stock exchange based in Yanti, China.   Last year they established a Hong Kong subsidiary dedicated to entering the cruise business.  While this is their first foray into cruising, the company also runs a fleet of roll-on, roll-off passenger ferries including their latest group of four 35,000 gross ton ships newly built in 2012 and 2013. The COSTA VOYAGER dimensions are 590 feet with an 84 foot beam.  Those measurements are very similar in size to the quartet of 300-vehicle ferries at 585 feet by 92 feet.  However that is where the similarities end, as those ships have a much higher air draft, significantly greater tonnage and carry 2.038 passengers on the route from Dalian to Yanti.  While a new name has yet to be announced, all of the company ships currently start with BOHAI followed by a descriptive word in Chinese.  Bohai Ferry is the largest passenger-roro operator in China.

9 Responses to COSTA VOYAGER Sold To Bohai

  1. Kenneth Eden

    February 18, 2014 at 10:31 am

    The interests that be as outlined as a “company” above will do as they wish to the multi-owned VOYAGER. No warm and fuzzy there.

    And talk about ugly, whats to like in the look of BOHAI JINGZHU.

  2. Kalle Id

    February 18, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I quite like the looks on the Costa Voyager, a shame that she won’t be seen on these waters anymore. But it is interesting to see what Bohai will do with her, certainly her size and speed would lend themselves to a high-class destination-intensive operation different from the other cruise operators currently on the Chinese market.

    Unrelated to that ship, Costa NeoRiviera has got to be one of the worst names of all time (worse even than NeoRomantica). Costa NeoCollection is similarly an utterly rubbish brand name, though I’ve no doubt the product itself will be appealing.

  3. John Schubert

    February 18, 2014 at 11:56 am

    The ship might be attractive and speedy but good god what an awful “seaboat”. The ship is too short to be moving at 28 knots and the nonstop slamming sounds made that clear on the rare occasion that th ship was actually pushed. Not content with extreme pitching and rolling on a calm sea, it drops and rises vertically like a possessed elevator when a herd of turtles swims by. There’s no wonder it keeps getting shuffled from one foster parent to another. Also: That Costa-neo prefix is the worst in an era of laughable cruise company nomenclature. Are Costa passengers really that pretentious? Purists rejoice in the fact that Holland America is content with the historic “dam”, and not something like the MS Holland America FabuVeen. Same with P and O, except for the glaring omission of a ship by the name of Canberra.

  4. Dick MacGREGORY

    February 18, 2014 at 12:08 pm


    No one, I repeat NO ONE, will ever top the worst names EVER given to ships: R ONE thru R EIGHT! MEIN SCHIFFE 1-4 are a close second, but the R-class take the prize!

  5. alan dumelow

    February 19, 2014 at 1:31 am

    There is NO WAY the Chinese paid US$43.68 million. She was originally on the market for EUROS 115 million, then recently reduced to EUROS 80 million. The $ 43.68 mill sounds more like a
    50% deposit. I know Carnival Corp were desperate to get rid of her, but they wouldn’t give it away.

    Kalle & All: What about “Costa NeoPolitan” as in neapolitan ice cream?

  6. Jon Fostik

    February 19, 2014 at 8:14 am

    I heartily agree with the previous comments that both the NEO name for the ships and the COSTA NEO Collection is laughable. Hope that they did not pay anyone for those two suggestions. Likewise I agree with the traditionalist/purists who favor Holland America and P&O nomenclature. Let’s not forget German operators such as Peter Deilman’s Deutschland or HAPAG with the Europa2…tho’ why must they also include a number with the name? Whether we like it our not I’m waiting for an actuary to advise all of us traditionalists we’ll not live long enough to see names like Conte di Savoia or Cristoforo Colombo again on a large passenger ship. Lastly…Holland America when are you going to reveal the name of your newbuild….will it be Leerdam, Spaarndam or perhaps Edam? In any event I can live without Potsdam or Dubbledam !

  7. Kenneth Eden

    February 20, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Costa lost my interest and money some time ago, looooooooong before Carnival acquired the line.

    Maybe it started with the removal of familial Costa family names, the very ships that bore the names eventually went away, while some of the ships faltered with quicky renames and new owners to be eventually sold. After the names went by the wayside, so did most of the Italian crew, and then common pasta dishes relplaced once fine Italian offerings.

    As for EUROPA 2, why not.

    HAL – new ship WHOGIVESADAM

  8. Christian Paolino

    February 21, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I agree about the nausea-inducing names (add BREAKAWAY and GETAWAY… the former sounds like a vessel that slipped its moorings, and the latter is what their hull art makes me want to do).

    I am only partly happy with P&O’s choices. I would love to see a new ORONSAY and ORCADES, but I think Jon is right that — outside of forums like this — names don’t resonate with today’s public.

    I wonder if Cunard have a QUEEN ANNE up their sleeve or if we will have to wait for a QUEEN CATHERINE!

  9. Shawn Dake

    April 12, 2014 at 7:02 am

    UPDATE: The COSTA VOYAGER will be renamed the CHINA TAISHAN. The name comes from a mountain in Shandong Province named Mt. Tai. Yu Xinjian, general manager of Bohai Ferry, said last month that the company plans to acquire more existing “luxury ships” to expand their cruise fleet. The former COSTA VOYAGER will enter the new Chinese service in the second half of the year.

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