Ambassador Cruise Line is a brand-new cruise line and is the first new British cruise line to be launched in more than a decade!
To find out what all the fuss is about, we caught up with the cruise line's Chief Marketing Officer, Gordon Nardini, ahead of the maiden voyage of Ambassador Cruise Line's first ship, Ambience, setting sail from London Tilbury, UK in April 2022.
Can you give us a brief overview of Ambassador Cruise Line?
Ambassador Cruise Line is a brand-new British cruise line, the first to be launched in the UK since 2010. Ambassador is adult-focused and age-inclusive but primarily aimed at the 50-plus market. Our sailings are all ex-UK no-fly, and in addition to our standard itineraries, there will also be two multi-generation cruises in the summer holidays.
Our purpose is to inspire and delight every guest to enjoy an authentic cruise experience effortlessly, and sustainably with a focus on premium-value. And through funds managed by Njord Partners LLP, London, the company is fully equity-financed (no financial debt).
Can you tell us more about the flagship, Ambience?
Our first ship, Ambience, will sail from London Tilbury in April 2022. After completing her inaugural season in Spring 2023.
We chose to name the ship Ambience as this conjures the instantly welcoming and comforting atmosphere we will create on board for our guests - there will always be an inviting and social atmosphere on Ambassador’s ships.
Ambience, is designed to carry approximately 1,400 guests. There are 798 cabins, all have tea and coffee making facilities, a fridge, hair dryer, personal safe, UK three pin electrical sockets and USB ports, flat screen TVs and en-suite facilities including a shower. Most suites also have a bathtub. Cabins will provide that home-from-home we’ve come to expect as standard on a cruise ship.
As part of our commitment to single guests we have 89 single occupancy cabins and 12 cabins adapted for guests with disability and mobility needs.
On board Ambience there is also a choice of five restaurants offering a selection of locally inspired dishes including specialty dining options as well as two cafes, nine lounges, a swimming pool, a relaxation pool, a spa, day and evening entertainment and fitness and leisure facilities. So there’s plenty to do on sea-days, apart from watching the world sail by.
Where will Ambassador Cruise Line sail?
Our carefully curated no-fly programme of 33 inaugural year sailings will all depart from London Tilbury on an EX-UK, no-fly basis and visit over 90 different ports.
These ports of call include the British Isles, the Norwegian Fjords, the Baltics and St Petersburg, Greenland, the Arctic and Iceland, plus several short break cruises.
For the winter months a range of exploration style voyages on Ambience will sail to the Canaries, Cuba, the Caribbean, Cape Verde and Scandinavia.
What changes are being made to the ship to limit environmental impact?
Ambience will be upgraded with emission reduction technologies to be IMO Tier III compliant, prior to the start of her cruising season, with work anticipated to finish in Croatia this March.
She will adhere to the latest updated rules regarding emission reductions (Tier II from 1 January 2022 in certain NOX Emission Control areas) and already be compliant with rules that don’t come into force until 1st January 2025 (Tier III of the IMO NOX regulations – aiming to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 70% compared to the Tier II standards).
In addition, Ambience will be equipped and outfitted with the latest ballast and sewage water treatment systems, enabling her to sail in all strictly environmentally protected seas. In our guest areas, Ambience is currently being refurbished and upgraded, with sustainability central to Ambassador’s decision making. No single-use plastic is a prerequisite.
Furthermore we’re committed to using smart technology with a strong paperless ethos, always reducing wastage. Technology will be used as an alternative to printing menus, shore plans and activity schedules.
Can you describe the type of cruisers you expect to sail on Ambience?
Ambassador’s aim is simple - to provide the cruise holiday that our guests deserve and on that basis we envisage that our ships will be some of the friendliest afloat. They’ll be a place guests can meet like-minded people, where we’ll all be part of the same community and make long-lasting friendships.
What’s included in the cruise fare?
Our fares include more than just your cabin accommodation. There's full board cuisine, afternoon teas, daytime activities, evening entertainment and full use of the onboard leisure facilities are all included in the fare.
The fare also includes:
· Flexible cancellation policies†
· Comfortable accommodation in chosen cabin category
· Sumptuous full board cuisine (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner)
· Captain’s Welcome & Farewell cocktail party*
· Captain’s Gala Dinner and Baked Alaska Parade*
· Informative guest speakers*
· A wide range of entertainment, including evening shows, plays, cabarets, live music & classical interludes
· Daytime activities, quizzes, dance classes and outside deck games
· Range of fitness, dance and wellness classes
· Use of gym, swimming pools and hot tubs
· Spa access
· Porterage of luggage between the port and cabin.
· All port taxes, fees and charges
†See booking conditions & full T&C’s, *6 nights or more
Why did you choose to homeport from Tilbury, UK?
The port of Tilbury is over 90 years old and has a wonderful cruise history and it’s a port that many guests have departed on memorable cruises from.
It’s location in Essex, on the Thames makes it easily accessible for people around the UK to reach, with transport links on many public transport routes and ample, convenient parking on site for private cars too.
It has a wonderfully majestic feel and will really excite our guests as they wait to board Ambience.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of booking with Ambassador Cruise Line?
A cruising holiday is like no other and if this is your first time, then you’re in safe hands with Ambassador. You’ll get an authentic cruising experience with an atmosphere that makes you feel at home, from the minute you step aboard.
A cruise holiday with Ambassador is an opportunity to make new friendships, visit new places and see the sights that you might have on your bucket list, whilst the crew on board look after every last detail.
Cruising is incredibly versatile, from sunshine in the Caribbean or Med, to sightseeing in the Baltics or Fjords. Or perhaps try cruising in more remote parts of the world like inside the Arctic Circle or Greenland and Iceland.
There is no doubt that cruising with Ambassador is also fantastic value for money holiday, with the cruise fare including your accommodation costs, full board meals, on board activities and day and evening entertainment and of course there’s no flight costs to worry about!
Our onboard health, hygiene and safety standards, together with our booking assurances, mean that our guests can sail with peace of mind.
What makes Ambassador unique from other cruise brands?
More and more we’re seeing a focus on the style of cruising, for example boutique or expedition. There’s less of a focus on the traditional aspects, the atmosphere on board and the sense of community that is paramount to making the guests centric to the whole cruising experience. This is what makes Ambassador Cruise Line differentiate itself from its competitors.
We’re not laying claim to being the biggest and most luxurious cruise brand at sea.
What we are saying is that we’re ethical, striving to be sustainable and focused on providing our guests with an authentic, traditional cruise experience.
What is your favourite thing about Ambassador?
Apart from working in a wonderful industry, with passionate guests, I’d say the people that work for Ambassador are truly amazing. Launching a cruise company in an industry that was hit very hard after the global pandemic was no easy feat – but we did it with great success.
From April 2021, when Ambassador Cruise Line was officially formed, the team have worked tirelessly to get the company to where we are now. Shoreside, we have a team of nearly 50 employees, and this team size will grow considerably when we’ve hired all of Ambience’s crew to work onboard.
The company’s rapid expansion is testament to everyone’s dedication, amazing talent and hard work.