1.0 Company Background
Empress Luxury Lines is a company that offered cruise vacations to the vacationers. In 1990s, this company had achieved high demand from the customers and they had increased their cruises in order to meet the demand during the stock market bubble. However, this increment of the demand did not last for long time. Unfortunately, the company had to face with several problems which caused the decrease of its demand. Like, in the year 2000, there was a dramatic fall in the stock market due to the incident of September 11 that badly affected the nation, sudden drop of bookings caused by the Norwalk virus and also the strike of the hurricanes at the Caribbean and Gulf ports in 2005 caused a huge amount of refunds.
Early age of Empress
Sunward left Southampton for the first time on June 25th 1966. Unfortunately, bookings were very low. A disagreement between Spain and Great Britain regarding Gibralter –Spain saw Gibraltar as a part of Spain- didn’t help matters either. Part of her brochure when sailing as The Empress for Empress Cruise Line Ted Arison, an Israeli, managed several Israeli passenger ships cruising out of American ports in the sixties. These ships were gradually sold however, so Arison was facing a situation in which he would be left without a ship. He saw many possibilities for cruises out of Florida to the Caribbean. It was his foresight that started Caribbean Cruising. He contacted Kloster and unfolded his plans for Caribbean cruising. Kloster agreed and the Sunward started sailing out of Miami on short cruise to the Bahamas for the newly formed Norwegian Cruise Lines. She was now used as a cruise ship, although her car deck was still in use so passengers could take their cars to the Bahamas. So...
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...ormer Sunward seemed to have found her niche. Although a one ship operation, Empress was a rather successful small firm, holding her own in a market dominated by competitor Star Cruises. There was even talk of a second ship, but Empress wanted to develop step by step and was not in a hurry to add further tonnage.
Suddenly, Empress Cruise Lines ceased operations. The exact reasons remained somewhat obscure, which happens more often in the Asian cruise scene. The Empress was laid up. Then, (summer of 2003) there were rumours of several (Asian) parties being interested in her while reports that she had already sailed for the breakers turned out to be incorrect. Other reports indicated that she had been sold for $ 1.3 million for further cruise service in Indian waters. Her planned refit did not materialize however and she was suddenly sold to Indian scrappers in 2004.