Ambassador Cruise Line Ships: What To Expect

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New cruise line Ambassador Cruise Line has two ships – Ambience and Ambition. The first ship, Ambience, was launched on 20th April 2022 while the second ship, Ambition, set sail in May 2023.

In this guide, I’ll give you a closer look at each of Ambassador Cruise Line’s ships, including their history and the differences between them.

Ambience

Ambience on the Thames in London Tilbury
Ambience on the Thames in London Tilbury

Ambassador Cruise Line’s first ship, Ambience, made her maiden voyage on 20th April 2022. She offers cruises from London Tilbury to a wide range of destinations including the British Isles, the Baltics, Scandinavia, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, and even as far as Cuna and the Caribbean.

Ambience in Barbados
Ambience in Barbados

History

Ambience ship was originally set to join the Cruise & Maritime Voyages fleet as Amy Johnson, but CMV went bust before the transition could occur. Ambassador Cruise Line was formed by the former CEO of Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Christian Verhounig, who took the opportunity to buy the ship as the first ship for his new cruise line.

Ambience was built in 1991 and originally intended for an Italian cruise line by the name of Sitmar Cruises. The cruise line was sold to P&O Group in 1988 and so when the ship was completed she instead began sailing for Princess Cruises with the name Regal Princess.

She sailed with Princess Cruises until 2007 when she was sold to Carnival Corporation. She began service for P&O Cruises Australia as the country’s first superliner, with the name Pacific Dawn.

Pacific Dawn
Pacific Dawn
Roderick Eime from Australia, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 2019, it was announced that Pacific Dawn would be sold to Cruise and Maritime Voyages in February 2021 and renamed as Amy Johnson. However, CMV went bust in July 2020 and so the ship was put up for sale in September of that year.

In 2020, Ocean Builders Central Inc bought the ship for $9.5 million and renamed it Satoshi. The plan was to anchor the ship off the coast of Panama and use it as a floating community for over 2000 digital nomads.

However, the company was unable to get insurance for the project and so in December 2020, the ship was sold to be scrapped.

Shortly afterwards, a new cruise line – Ambassador Cruise Line – came to the rescue and purchased the ship that we now know as Ambience. In October 2021, work began on an extensive refurbishment in Croatia.

The initial launch was delayed for a couple of weeks due to supply chain issues, but Ambience finally set sail for the first time on 20th April 2022.

The On-Board Experience

A medium-sized cruise ship, Ambience has 789 cabins with options of inside, outside, balcony and suite to suit all budgets. Single travellers will be pleased to know that this ship does also have some single cabins.

Sea view cabin on Ambience

Ambience offers a good blend of spaciousness and intimacy. The ship features 11 bars and lounges, including The Purple Turtle pub, Raffles Bar and The Botanical Lounge.

The Botanical Lounge
The Botanical Lounge

Drinks on board Ambassador Cruise Line’s Ambience are very reasonably priced with cocktails costing only £5.

Click here to see the Ambassador Cruise Line Drinks Menus. There are also various drinks packages available.

Ambience has a multi-tier theatre where you can enjoy entertainment from the onboard team and guest artists as well as a late-night disco in the stylish Observatory.

Palladium Theatre on Ambience cruise ship
Palladium Theatre

Ambience also offers a wide range of daytime activities with a card room, casino, crafting studio, library, gym, spa and shopping gallery. On the top deck, you’ll find a swimming pool, two hot tubs and a large outdoor movie screen.

Ambience pool deck
Swimming pool

On board Ambience, you’ll find plenty of places to eat, including the Buckingham main dining room, the Borough Market buffet and the outdoor Alfresco Grill.

Borough Market buffet on Ambience
Borough Market

There are also three speciality restaurants – Saffron, Sea & Grass and the luxury Chef’s Table.

Destinations

Departing from London Tilbury, Ambience offers a wide range of cruises from 3 to 42 nights. So, whether you fancy a short Christmas markets cruise or to make the most of retirement with a month-long voyage to Canada or the Caribbean, you can do so.

Ambience on a 42-night cruise
Ambience on a 42-night cruise

The ship offers a range of themed cruises such as bridge, crafting, comedy, gardening and wildlife, British broadcasting legends and cricketing legends.

Ambassador Cruise Line primarily serves the over 50s. However, in the summer, grandchildren are invited on board for a series of multi-generational cruises during the school holidays.

Ambition

Ambassador Cruise Line’s second ship, Ambition, entered service in May 2023 and I was lucky enough to spend the night onboard just before the maiden voyage.

History

Ambition was built in 1999. The ship was originally ordered by Renaissance Cruises, but the order was withdrawn and taken over by Festival Cruises who named the ship Mistral.

Festival Cruises went out of business in 2004 and Mistral was sold back to the builders to be chartered to Ibero Cruises with the name Grand Mistral in 2005.

In 2013, the ship was acquired by Costa Cruises and after a €10 million renovation, she was renamed Costa neoRiviera.

In October 2019, the ship was transferred to AIDA Cruises and underwent a further $55 million transformation to become AIDAmira. Cruising paused globally in March 2020 and then in January 2022 AIDA Cruises sold the ship to Ambassador Cruise Line.

The On-Board Experience

Ambition is a little smaller than Ambience, with three fewer decks and 200 fewer guests.

The ship features two main restaurants, a casual bistro-style cafe and several speciality restaurants available for an extra fee. There are also four bars and lounges plus a pub.

Ambition dining room

In terms of entertainment, guests can enjoy watching shows in the theatre, playing games in the card room, library and casino or crafting in the craft studio.

Leisure facilities include a wellness centre, gym, a swimming pool and a splash pool. There’s also a range of retail shops.

Wellness centre on Ambition

For a closer look at Ambition, head over to Instagram and check out my story highlights where I have lots of photos that I took onboard the ship.

Destinations

Ambition offers cruises from Newcastle and Dundee. The voyages will include European destinations such as France and Spain, Norway, Iceland, and the Scottish Islands.

As Ambition is a relatively small cruise ship, she is able to fit down the River Seine. French river cruise experiences will depart from Belfast and Liverpool in the summer, followed by more European itineraries from these departure ports.

In the Autumn, Bristol and Falmouth will be Ambition’s departure ports and by the winter, Ambition will relocate to London Tilbury.

In January 2024, Ambition will embark on a 42-night adventure from London to the Amazon and West Indies.

NEW DEALS JUST RELEASED!

Don’t miss the latest Ambassador Cruise Line offers…

Ambience Vs Ambition

Here’s how Ambassador Cruise Line’s two ships stack up against each other…

AmbienceAmbition
Size70,285 GT48,123 GT
Guests1,4001,200
Built19911999
Guest Decks118
Speed16.5 knots19.5 knots
Length245m216m
Beam32.25m28.8m

Is Ambassador Cruise Line the same as CMV?

Ambassador Cruise Line is a new British cruise line. It was launched shortly after Cruise & Maritime Voyages went bust. The management team includes CMV’s former chief executive, chief commercial officer, chief information officer and chief financial officer.

Read more: Who Owns Ambassador Cruise Line?

Christian Verhounig
Ambassador Cruise Line CEO, Christian Verhounig
Photo: Ambassador Cruise Line

Ambassador Cruise Line’s first ship is Ambience, a ship that was set to be launched by Cruise & Maritime Voyages before the company went out of business. This, along with the same management team, has led to some people referring to Ambassador Cruise Line as the ‘new CMV’.

Ambience at night
Photo: John Piggott

I had previously booked two cruises with Cruise & Maritime Voyages before the company went into administration and was sad that I never got the chance to experience a CMV cruise.

So, with Ambassador Cruise Line featuring a beautiful-looking ship, some interesting itineraries and some very exciting prices from as little as £25 per night, this is one cruise line that I certainly want to try in the future. My one-night stay was amazing and I can’t wait to return.

NEW DEALS JUST RELEASED!

Don’t miss the latest Ambassador Cruise Line offers…

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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4 thoughts on “Ambassador Cruise Line Ships: What To Expect”

  1. I’d booked to do a taste of fjordland on board Ambition late march 2023 and had booked 2 cabins.
    ROL cruise lines made such a mess of the booking and after many phone calls rectified the matter only to advise us that cruise is being cancelled.
    ‘No compensation’. and still waiting for deposit back.
    Complete shambles!

    • Oh no, so sorry to hear that Sally. I hope you get your deposit back soon so you can choose something else.

    • We have just been looking at that offer sorry to hear about your problems
      Which date/cruise was that for?

  2. Yes, this is good news ! I was sad to hear about the ending of CMV cruises. So far, i was a passenger on 3 cruises and they were all with CMV. In 2015 i was on the Magellan, in 2017 on the Astoria and the last one was with Columbus in 2019. It was quite emotional for me to see reports about Magellan and Columbus being scrapped. I liked the atmosphere on the CMV cruises, the fact that even a single cruiser like me could get reasonable prices and being Dutch, that the ships also came to Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

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