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MV Ambience (Ex Regal Princess) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 8521232

MV Ambience

ex Satoshi, Pacific Dawn, Regal Princess

© Ambassador Cruise Line

Ambience – Artists Impression © Ambassador Cruise Line

Steel twin screw motor vessel built by Fincantieri-Cant. Nav. Italiani, Monfalcone, Italy in 1991 (Yard No 5840) as a Passenger (Cruise) Vessel for Astramar SpA (Sitmar Cruises)

Technical Data

  • Original Cost: $276.8 million
  • Length: 244.96 m (overall) 204.0 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 32.25 m
  • Depth: 11.40 m
  • Draught: 8.100 m
  • Tonnage: 69845 gross/34907 net/6896t deadweight
  • Engines: Four MAN-B&W 8L58/64 diesels
  • Power: 12000 kW/16314 bHP
  • Speed: 19.5 knots (22.5 knots max)
  • Capacity: 1900 passengers
  • Crew: 621/710
  • Passenger Decks: 11
  • Call Sign: ICGP, 2AGH7, 3ZGF5, C6FH4
  • MMSI Number: 311001109
  • IMO Number: 8521232
  • Official Number: 1166
  • Port of Registry: Palermo/Italy 🇮🇹, Monrovia/Liberia 🇱🇷, Hamilton/Bermuda 🇧🇲, London/United Kingdom 🇬🇧, Panama City/Panama 🇵🇦, Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸
  • Sister Ships: Crown Princess (5839)

Current AIS Location

Please note that this specific vessels AIS position data may be over an hour old and that the vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the VesselFinder AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is in no way related to the 'Safety of Navigation at Sea'. All the AIS ship position data featured within this article is provided by VesselFinder and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


1988: Ordered by Sitmar Cruises as the first of two vessels (the sister ship is the REGAL PRINCESS). Their design was developed by the Mercantile Constructions Division of Fincantieri, with the design of the external form and the upper decks by Architect Renzo Piano, giving the ship its distinctive dolphin shape. Whilst under construction the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) acquired Astramar (Sitmar). The vessel would be completed and delivered to the P&O Group company Princess Cruises.

March 29th 1990: Launched.

June 5th 1991: Trials.

July 20th 1991:  Delivered to Astramar, Palermo, Italy. (P&O Cruises).

August 8th 1991: Christened in New York by Margaret Thatcher (the then Prime Minister of the UK).

© Wolfgang Kramer

© Wolfgang Kramer (27/06/2003)

© Nigel Thornton  © Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton (Dover)

© John Mavin  

© John Mavin (Dover)

1992: Transferred to Princess Cruises, Monrovia, Liberia.

October 2007: Transferred to P&O Australia, London, U.K. and renamed PACIFIC DAWN.

January 1st 2008: Registered owner: Carnival PLC

© John Wilson

© John Wilson (Brisbane, 03/08/2013)

© John Wilson  © John Wilson

© John Wilson (Brisbane, 20/12/2014)

© John Wilson  © John Wilson

© John Wilson (Brisbane, 16/03/2017)

© John Wilson

© John Wilson (Brisbane, 29/04/2017)

April 2020: Arrived in Brisbane and laid up owing to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

2020: It was intended that the ship would be retired in 2020 then sold to Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) and renamed AMY JOHNSON. The sale did not materialize.

October 30th 2020: Arrived Piraeus.

© Dennis Mortimer

© Dennis Mortimer (Piraeus, 30/10/2020)

November 1st 2020: Sold to Ocean Builders Central Inc, Panama and renamed SATOSHI. The intention was to operate her as a “Crypto-Cruise ship” (being used for tourism, home residence, research and office space).

November 4th 2020: Transferred to her new owners.

December 3rd 2020: Arrived Gibraltar Anchorage.

December 4th 2020: Left Gibraltar showing destination as Panama.

December 19th 2020: Ocean Builders Central Inc made an announcement:

“After buying the ship, hiring a vessel management company and even completing a class drydocking, the company said they had hit an insurance roadblock. The ship has since quickly been sold to scrap and will sail to India.”

“”After an exhaustive search for an International Group P&I Club insurance group to insure the Satoshi we have hit the roadblock of having no insurance company willing to insure the MS Satoshi upon dropping anchor in the Gulf of Panama”

Source: Cruise Industry News

November 23rd 2020: Arrived Gibraltar.

December 2nd 2020: Left Gibraltar,

December 22nd 2020: Arrived Balboa (Panama) and arrested.

© Bengt-Rune Inberg

© Bengt-Rune Inberg (Cristobal Outer Anchorage, Panama, 26/12/2020)

December 28th 2020: Anchored off Port Colon, Panama.

February 23rd 2021: Left Panama.

March 27th 2021: Arrived at the Port of Bar in Montenegro.


March 28, 2021

“Former Bitcoin Cruise Ship Sold to New Startup”

“The ship was sold to Ocean Builders, which planned to turn it into a cryptocurrency tech hub off the coast of Panama with apartments aboard up for auction.

Ocean Builders took delivery of the ship in November, hired a vessel management firm, paid for a dry docking and even sailed the ship to Panama, but abandoned the project citing insurance issues.

At that point, the vessel was arrested in Panama.

Now, legal issues aside, the cruise ship may have a new life with a new cruise line, yet to be revealed, starting service later this year.”

Source: Cruise Industry News

13th May 2021: It was officially announced that the Satoshi had been acquired by the new British start up Ambassador Cruise Line. After an extensive refit the ship would enter service in April 2022 as the Ambience.

13th May 2021



Ambassador Cruise Line has officially launched in the UK market. The exciting announcement will be welcomed by the UK travel industry. The first British cruise line since 2010 will commence sales in June 2021 with the first cruises beginning operation in the Spring of 2022.

In the most significant signal yet of the return of the UK travel economy, the first new British cruise line since 2010 has been launched, with sales commencing in June 2021 and its inaugural cruises beginning in Spring 2022.

Ambassador Cruise Line offers a premium-value, authentic cruise experience, sailing for the British market from its home port of London Tilbury. It will offer no-fly itineraries that are adult-focussed and primarily aimed at the 50-plus market. Ambassador’s first ship, Ambience, is designed to carry approximately 1,400 guests, creating a welcoming and social atmosphere. There are 798 cabins, a choice of five restaurants offering a selection of locally inspired dishes, including speciality dining options, as well as two cafes, nine lounges, two swimming pools, a spa, day and evening entertainment, fitness and leisure facilities complemented by enticing enrichment and lifestyle programmes.

The maiden season for Ambience commences on 6 April 2022 with an inaugural short break cruise to Hamburg, before embarking on a mixed itinerary programme with sailings to the Norwegian Fjords and the British Isles planned throughout spring. The first full year programme operating until May 2023 will consist of 33 sailings visiting over 90 different ports, featuring the Baltics and St. Petersburg, Greenland, the Arctic, and Iceland, whilst for the winter months a range of expedition style voyages will sail to the Canary Islands, Cuba, the Caribbean, Cape Verde and Scandinavia.

Through funds managed by Njord Partners LLP, London the company is fully equity-financed (no financial debt). The Chair of the Board of Directors is Gordon Wilson who has over 30 years’ experience in the global travel industry including as the President and CEO of Travelport until July 2019. He is a member of the Supervisory Board of BCD Holdings which owns global corporate travel management company, BCD Travel. He has been appointed to the Chair of the Board of Interactive Investor, the second-largest direct-to-consumer investment platform in the UK.

Ambassador has an extremely experienced management team led by CEO Christian Verhounig supported by CCO, Christopher Coates, CIO, Gary Hides and CFO, Simon Weeks.

Gordon Wilson remarks: “We are hugely excited to launch the first British cruise line in over a decade. It is just what the industry needs right now to reboot the British cruise market and inject confidence into the sector. Ambassador Cruise Line offers the best of British cruising – we’re a new company offering a distinctive product but maintaining traditional cruising values which we know are important to our guests.

This is just the beginning. We have ambitious growth plans, and the travel industry is a crucial partner in this. We’re looking forward to working collaboratively with agents, partners and the shipping community. Investment on this scale, and the launch of such a significant business as we emerge from the pandemic will make a significant contribution to the local economy and travel industry, particularly as we look to fill at least 100 jobs from the UK.”

Ambassador’s proposition is to bring back the joy of cruising in ships which look and feel like cruise ships and which take environmental responsibility seriously. As such, prior to its first voyage, Ambience will be upgraded with emission reduction technologies to be IMO Tier III compliant prior to the start of the cruising season.

She will not only adhere to the latest updated rules regarding emission reductions (Tier II from 1 January 2022 in certain NOX Emission Control areas) but will already be compliant with rules which will come into force by 1 January 2025 (Tier III of the IMO NOX regulations – aiming to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 70% compared to the Tier II standards).

In addition, Ambience will be equipped and outfitted with the latest ballast and sewage water treatment systems enabling her to sail in all seas, including those strictly environmentally protected. Guests will notice that single-use plastic onboard has been eliminated, and technology has been used as an innovative alternative to printing menus, shore plans and activity schedules. The huge investment in this area means Ambience will be an innovator in its class and fully Tier III compliant.

Treating our guests right is not just about the booking and onboard experience. In accordance with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, we have insurance cover in place to financially protect all guests booking with Ambassador Cruise Line. In addition, we will operate a fully independently managed Trust Account where guests’ funds are deposited and only released when the cruise departs. Our offer also includes a booking guarantee in the event we are forced to cancel a cruise.

Cruise customers, and the travel trade, understand that cruise lines are already one of the most extensively regulated sectors of the tourism industry for health and safety. Ambassador will also operate a policy whereby all guests and crew will need to be vaccinated prior to setting sail to provide that additional peace of mind.

Detailed prices for individual cruise itineraries will be available in June 2021 including some introductory offers. A 68-page brochure will also be launched.

The trade sales team will be reaching out to agents and encouraging trade partners to sign up to the registration website for more news and information about the range of itineraries and Ambience.


Source: Ambassador Cruise Line


Artist Impressions © Ambassador Cruise Line

October 11th 2021: Sailed from Bar, Montenegro to Rijeka Anchorage in Croatia.

© Ambassador Cruise Line  © Ambassador Cruise Line

© Ambassador Cruise Line

© Ambassador Cruise Line (Bar, 11/10/2021)

October 13th 2021: Arrived Rijeka Anchorage (Croatia) before going to the Viktor Lenac shipyard for an extensive overhaul.

© Lappino

© Lappino (Rijeka Anchorage, 13/10/2021)

October 14th 2021: Arrived at the Viktor Lenac shipyard for refurbishment. Extensive works are to be carried out, such as installation of new equipment, scrubbers, wastewater treatment system, water purification system, ballast water. Extensive interventions are needed in order to renew all of the ship’s expired certificates.

© Lappino

© Lappino (Viktor Lenac shipyard, 15/10/2021)

© Ambassador Cruise Line

© Ambassador Cruise Line (Movement within repair yard)

© Dragec

© Dragec (Rijeka, Croatia 15/12/2021)

© Ambassador Cruise Line

© Dragec (15/01/2022)  © Dragec (25/01/2022)

© Dragec (12/02/2022)  © Dragec (12/02/2022)

© Dragec (Rijeka, Croatia 15/01/2022 – 12/02/2022)

March 16th 2022: Due to leave dry-dock.

© Antun Penjak

© Antun Penjak (Rijeka, Croatia 23/03/2022)

March 25th 2022: Announcement made that the inaugural sailing will be delayed by two weeks because of supply problems during dry dock in Croatia. The maiden voyage to Hamburg planned for April 6 has been moved to April 20, and the first two sailings to the Norwegian fjords have been cancelled.

March 31st 2022: Announcement made that Sally Gunnell OBE will  be the ships Godmother and will officially rename the vessel in April 2022

March 31st 2022: Left Rijeka showing destination as Ravenna (eta: 01/04/2022)

April 1st 2022: Arrived Ravenna Anchorage.

© Luka Milevoj (Plomin, Croatia, 31/03/2022)

April 4th 2022: Arrived Bar, Montenegro.

Ambience – (Montenegro)

April 5th 2022: Left Bar showing destination as Valletta. Malta.

April 6th 2022: Arrived Valletta. 

© Ambassador Cruise Line 

© Ambassador Cruise Line

April 14th 2022: Arrived Tilbury. 

© Myké Sickler (A2B via Sea)

© Myké Sickler (A2B via Sea) (Tilbury, 14/04/2022)

© Bob Scott

© Bob Scott (Tilbury, 15/04/2022)

Onboard the Ambience with Andrew Cooke

© Andrew Cooke (Tilbury 19 & 20/04/2022)

April 20th 2022: Left Tilbury on her maiden voyage to Hamburg, Germany.

© Robert J Smith

© Robert J Smith (Tilbury, 20/04/2022)

April 22nd 2022: Arrived in Hamburg.

© Christian Eckhardt  © Christian Eckhardt

© Christian Eckhardt  © Christian Eckhardt

© Christian Eckhardt

© Christian Eckhardt (Hamburg, 22/04/2022)

April 2022: Maiden season for Ambassador Cruise Line and will sail on cruises ranging from 7 to 14 nights to the British Isles, the Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, Baltic, and the Mediterranean. 

December 18th 2022: Festive Market Getaway cruise from Tilbury cancelled owing to “an issue with the lifeboat station…………..”. Repairs could not be completed at Tilbury.

December 19th 2022: Sailed from Tilbury “to Bremerhaven where the work and tests will be completed.”.

December 20th 2022: Arrived Bremerhaven.

© Christian Eckardt © Christian Eckardt

© Christian Eckardt (Bremerhaven, 20/12/2022)

January 4th 2023: Left Bremerhaven destination showing as Tilbury (eta 05/01/2023).

January 5th 2023: Arrived Tilbury.

January 6th 2023: Sailed for Vigo and resumed cruising.

November 17th 2023: Came off service at Tilbury and sailed tp Bremerhaven.

November 18th 2023: Arrived Bremerhaven for refit.

December 7th 2023: Announcement made: 

“Routine inspections that found that both propellor shafts and stern bearings have been damaged by way of metal grinding, (please see attached images) which requires essential repair works which would risk leaking oil into the environment if not addressed immediately. Therefore, the two propeller shafts (each 20m long weighing over 30 tonnes each) together with their bearings have been transported by sea to a specialist metal repair shop in Denmark.
Regrettably, we were informed yesterday that the additional maintenance works will not be concluded in time to operate our itineraries onboard AMBIENCE as scheduled, with the ship only able to return to the UK in early January ahead of AMBIENCE’s Grand Round The World Cruise. As a result of the unexpected but essential works that will see AMBIENCE remain in Dry Dock longer than originally planned, it made operational sense to swap this itinerary over from AMBIENCE to AMBITION. It is because of this delay that we have taken the difficult decision to switch AMBITION and AMBIENCE’s itineraries over the next month.”

Ambassador Cruise Line

© Ambassador Cruise Line © Ambassador Cruise Line

© Ambassador Cruise Line

© Christian Eckardt

© Christian Eckardt (Bremerhaven, 06/12/2023)

January 4th 2024: Left Bremerhaven for Tilbury.

January 5th 2024: Arrived Tilbury.

January 6th 2024: Left Tilbury on her “57 days, one-way from London-Tilbury to Fremantle”

06 Jan 17:00 Departing from London-Tilbury, England hotels
07 Jan 08:00 – 16:00 Rotterdam, Netherlands South Holland
10 Jan 08:00 – 17:00 Porto-Leixoes, Oporto, Portugal
13 Jan 08:00 – 17:00 Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island Azores Portugal
20 Jan 08:00 – 17:00 Bridgetown, Barbados
22 Jan 07:00 – 15:00 Willemstad Curacao, Netherlands Antilles
24 Jan 08:00 – 18:00 San Blas Islands Panama
25 Jan 04:00 – 19:00 Panama Canal
04 Feb 09:00 – 20:00 Nuku Hiva Island, Taiohae, Marquesas French Polynesia
07 Feb 07:00 – 20:00 Papeete, Tahiti Island French Polynesia
08 Feb 07:00 – 20:00 Moorea Island, Society Islands French Polynesia
09 Feb 06:00 – 17:00 Huahine Island, Society Islands French Polynesia
11 Feb 08:00 – 23:00 Rarotonga Island, Avarua, Cook Islands NZ
15 Feb 08:00 – 18:00 Nukualofa, Tongatapu, Tonga
19 Feb 07:00 – 21:00 Auckland, New Zealand
20 Feb 08:00 – 20:00 Bay of Islands, Russell, New Zealand
24 Feb 06:00 – 20:00 Sydney, NSW Australia
26 Feb 11:00 – 19:00 Melbourne, Victoria Australia
28 Feb 11:00 – 19:00 Adelaide, South Australia
03 Mar 09:00 Arriving in Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia


All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Myke Sickler (A2B via Sea), Ambassador Cruise Line, Bengt-Rune Inberg, Dragec, Christian Eckhardt, Wolfgang Kramer, Lappino, John Mavin, Luka Milevoj, Dennis Mortimer, Bob Scott, Robert J Smith and John Wilson for their assistance in producing this feature. A very special thanks goes to Andrew Cooke.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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