Greece’s ropax operator Seajets has entered the over-night cruise sector, purchasing former P&O Cruises’ Oceana, with the ship delivered in Piraeus yesterday.

The new fleet addition is another extension of Seajets’ operation, which led by the flamboyant 52-year-old Marios Iliopoulos, has been in expansion mode for the past couple of years as the company’s ropax fleet has grown.

Carnival Corp’s 77,499gt Oceana, entered service in February 2000 as Ocean Princess for Princess Cruises, but has served under her current name for P&O Cruises since 2002.

Firm price paid

No price has been announced, but Denis Vernardakis, ceo of Masters’ Cruise & Ferry Shipbrokers, confirmed, ‘it was firm’.

Iliopoulos has not disclosed deployment plans for the cruise ship, with many in Piraeus seeing the purchased as a speculative buy.

Cyclades islands delpoyment

The cruise ship joins a fleet of 21 ferries comprising monohulls, catamarans and conventional ferries which primarily operate in the Cyclades islands network, though it is expanding its routes.

Seajets is not the only Greek owner to have added cruise tonnage in recent weeks: Celestyal Cruises, which has cancelled operations until March 2021, purchased Costa neoRomantica, built 1993, from Costa Cruises.

The vessel underwent an extensive refurbishment in late 2011/early 12 and will be the largest vessel in the now-three ship Celestyal fleet at 56,800gt and joins 37,800gt Celestyal Olympia, built 1982, and 25,600gt Celestyal Crystal, built 1980.