top of page

Easy Come - Easy Go

When you paint a cruise ship the colour of a lifejacket that should be the clue to the cruises on offer, or at least that seemed the case with the launch of easyCruise when it was created by Stelios Haji-Ioannou in 2005.

Following the success of easyJet it does not necessarily follow that all easyProjects would succeed. easyCruise tried something completely different, no cruise line before or since has offered cruises on such a limited budget.

easyCruise One was a 170-passenger ship offering a no-frills floating hotel format, a cross between a yacht and a college dorm, aiming to attract a younger demographic of party-prone passengers who wanted to travel, see more, eat less and spend less. easyCruise One was basic to say the least with tiny cabins and very sparse, often with the bunks only slightly raised off the deck. If you wanted your cabin cleaned you paid extra, a change of towels or bedding was again extra. Of course, all food onboard was charged extra.

easyCruise lowered that average passenger age dramatically to 33, from an industry average of around 57. The ship stayed in port for much longer with the idea that the cruise ship was simply a way to get guests from destination to destination, the ship would sometimes be in port until 4 am allowing guests to have dinner ashore and party into the evening.

On the majority of easyCruise sailings, guests were able to embark and disembark at any point in the cruise. A minimum of two nights had to be booked but this was a great selling point for the company as it made itineraries more flexible.

easyCruise planned to add up to 7 ships to their fleet, they were in fact planning to build these ships, but the plans were quickly shelved. By early 2008 easyCruise made their plan to sell the ship public, sighting the reason “not having enough space”. By 2009 the ship was sold to Greek ferry operator Hellenic Seaways. easyCruise operations were quietly discontinued early in 2010 and passengers with future bookings were refunded.

No official reason was given but it’s likely that the company struggled to make the business model profitable due to the low entry price for cruisers and limited opportunity for guests to spend more onboard.

The easyCruise brand is now run by VarietyCruises, offering private yacht experiences. Very different from the original brand.

Fathom - A new cruising concept

P&O Adonia - Fathom Cruise

Another short-lived cruise format was “Fathom”. A new concept created by Carnival Corporation in 2015. The idea was to operate “social impact travel”. The idea being that passengers would engage by volunteering to help in projects in the countries that they visited.

I would imagine that the idea for this project came from the desire to begin cruising to Cuba following negotiations between President Obama and Cuban Leader Raul Castro in 2014 to normalise the relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Carnival Corp. reassigned P&O Adonia to “Fathom”. At the time the fathom concept was perhaps not as scalable as some other brands, since it wasn't likely work on a 2,000-passenger vessel, Carnival had at least two other small, older ships of a similar size that could be added to the brand over time.

On May 2nd, 2016, Adonia docked in the port of Havana, the first port of her Cuban itinerary for Fathom. It marked the first time in over 50 years that a U.S. cruise line has sailed from the U.S. to Cuba.

It would appear that while there was a lot of initial interest in the Fathom Concept, few passengers wanted to spend there well earner vacation volunteering for social impact projects ashore and in less than a year it was announced that Fathom would discontinue its operation and by June 2017 Adonia was returned to P&O cruises who had supported and maintained Adonia while it was in service for Fathom.

The following year Adonia was purchased by Azamara Club Cruises and sailed to Belfast where she underwent a major refit at Harland and Wolff shipyard transforming her into

Satoshi, the world’s first cryptocurrency cruise ship didn’t even make it down the slipway.

For those of you who have heard of “The World” the world's largest privately-owned cruise vessel. The boat serves as a residential community and is owned by its residents. A relatively small group of very very rich passengers. The vessel carries between 100 and 300 residents and their guests. It is owned by 142 different families from 19 countries.

A similar idea was floated for P&O Pacific Dawn (Formally Regal Princess) when she was sold for just $9.5 Million in 2020. The new owners were a group of crypto-coin enthusiasts. They planned to anchor the ship off Panama as a floating residence for digital nomads, YouTube influencers and start-up specialists. The ship was renamed MS Satoshi in tribute to Japanese crypto-currency founder Satoshi Nakamoto.

The plan was to auction off the ship’s 777 cabins at prices starting at $25,000, plus monthly fees. When the auction resulted in only a handful of staterooms being sold, Ocean Builders switched gears, saying they would instead rent out the cabins daily, weekly, or monthly.

Then came the news that no insurance company would touch the proposed operation, and the crypto-cruisers threw in the towel, announcing that the once-proud ship would be sold to a scrapyard in India.

The 30 Year Old Regal Princess - Is transformed into Ambassador Ambience

There is now a happy ending for the 30-year-old Regal Princess. A deal was struck with a new UK cruise company “Ambassador Cruise Line”. A new company staffed by several former executives from the defunct Cruise & Maritime Voyages.


708 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All


Jamie, The Purser
Jamie, The Purser

Interesting concepts, recall The Easy One Project which was more suited to backpackers and freedom campers, with very limited appeal to the general public wishing to escape on a budget cruise! Personally I prefer economy class such as P&O Australia brand which included old Oriana for many years, Star Cruises operating new ships and refurbished old ships, and even Barcelona based Pulmantur who operated second hand tonnage. They were fun ships without all the bells and whistles of Disneyland. They were all smaller vessel, with more classic lines than the multi storey skyscrapers they call ships today. My preference is the ship being the destination, and ports something to view from a distance. The whole concept of cruising, is …

     Please subscribe to  Salty Seadog

Thanks for joining us

bottom of page