Monday, May 25th, 2009

Cruise Ship Becomes Private Yacht


Yacht Broker Sells Cruise Ship

The Super Yacht world is becoming used to crossover encounters with the commercial world of shipping with many merchant navy crews taking up appointments as Captains and Engineers serving aboard superyachts but perhaps the commercial world is not yet ready to learn that a yacht broker has sold a cruise ship to a client and that it is about to become a Royal Yacht for a prominent Middle Eastern family.

The ship in question is the Hebridean Spirit former flagship of the troubled Hebridean Cruise line, which has been placed into receivership with Ernst Young.  Ship brokers realising that this small passenger ship, number six of eight built for and operated by Renaissance might be of interest to yacht owners contacted Michael White of Ocean Independence to see if he might know of where they could sell a ship in what was to be effectively a Fire Sale.  Michael had between 15 and 20 clients who could if they wanted to buy the ship and had at some stage expressed an interest in acquiring such a vessel.  Of those he contacted, one immediately showed interest within 24 hours.  This was followed up by ship visits with surveyors in Capetown and by the time the ship finished what was to become her final cruise into the Seychelles she had been all but sold. Three days after the last passenger had walked down the gangway and less than four weeks after first hearing of the potential, Michael White had sold the ship into private yachting.

Changing to the Red Ensign and registered in Bermuda the yacht was then renamed Sunrise and remained under the command of her British Captain Brian Larcombe a life time sailor who gained his initial pre sea training at HMS Conway in the nineteen sixties.  The ship remains commercially registered and will be managed from now on by the yacht management division of Ocean Independence from their management offices in Zurich. 

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