New French Cruise Brand CFC Targets Untapped Premium Market

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CFC, a new French cruise line revealed this week, is targeting an untapped market in France with a premium product aboard the Renaissance, which is Holland America Line’s former Maasdam.

“Our position in the market is empty today,” said Clément Mousset, president and co-founder, of the new company. “Ponant is a leader in luxury cruising, some international lines have mainstream products (marketed in France), but we are offering a premium cruise product.”

The focus will be on a quality product with a French identity. Mousset, a long-time cruise industry executive, said all guest-facing staff will be fluent in French.

Cédric Rivoire-Perrochat, COO and co-founder, said the all cruises will start from French homeports.

The ship gets going next February with a Le Havre based program before moving to Marseille in September.

Most cruises are between 10 and 15 nights, with a handful of shorter sailings and a world cruise leaving in early 2024.

As for the ship, the former Maasdam had been laid up as the Aegean Myth and is now the Renaissance.

The ship last saw a major refit in 2018 and was laid up between 2020 and 2022 as part of the Seajets cruise fleet, a number of cruise vessels that were bought during the pandemic and laid up awaiting new homes in Greece.

The ship has capacity for approximately 1,258 guests at double occupancy. For its new operators, 100 staterooms will be devoted to single occupancy, with no supplement charged.

Rivoire-Perrochat said that since the vessel had spent some summers in Alaska, she was tuned for the best possible environmental performance.

He estimated getting her ready for service again as well as some updating will cost around 10 million euro.

The ship will leave Greece soon and the first major move will be a French flag change ahead of her drydock. A naming ceremony is scheduled for February in Le Havre ahead of her first cruise, sailing on Feb. 10.