Another new cruise line is entering the fold as Zen Cruises announced today it had purchased the 1990-built P&O Pacific Jewel and intends to start service in 2019 out of India.
The cruise brand is owned by Essel Group, which describes itself as a “multi-faceted business conglomerate, with a legacy of over 90 years.”
The company today announced the appointment of industry veteran Jurgen Bailom as President and CEO of the Group’s upcoming cruise line business, Zen Cruises Private Limited.
“Bailom will steer the company on a course to captivate Indian cruise passengers with an offering par excellence,” the company said.
The Pacific Jewel entered service in 1990 as the Crown Princess after being built by Fincantieri. It also served as the A’Rosa Blu, AIDAblu and Ocean Village Two before moving to P&O Australia as the Pacific Jewel in 2009. It will wrap up its service career with P&O in March.
Bailom was previously at the head of Grupo Vidanta Cruises prior to Essel Group. He has also held senior corporate director positions within several of Royal Caribbean’s brands.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Essel Group which has done pioneering work across sectors and consider it a great opportunity to be at the helm of India’s first cruise company. India has a 6,632 km long coastline along nine states and two union territories which presents the tremendous potential to promote and grow cruise tourism in India. We intend to take the cruise liner experience to a new level for people in India, and I look forward to unveiling our plans soon,” Bailom said.
No further information was released.