Commodore Cruise

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Commodore Cruise

Commodore Cruise Line was a United States -based cruise line that was in operation from 1968 until 2001. It was founded in 1966 by Sanford Chobol and Edwin Stephan. Following multiple changes in ownership, the company declared bankruptcy in 2001 due to raising fuel costs and increased competition from other cruise lines. It had its headquarters in Hollywood, Florida.

Commodore Cruise Line was founded in 1966the same year that Norwegian Caribbean Line begun operationsby Sanford Chobol and Edwin Stephan. Chobol, a Florida hotelier, had previously operated the Brazilian ocean liner Princess Leopoldina on a series of cruises out of Florida in 1962. In order to operate a ship that could successfully compete against NCL's MS Sunward, Commodore reached an agreement with the Sweden-based Wallenius Lines, who acquired the build contract of a half-complete ferry under construction at Wrtsil Turku Shipyard in Finland. The ship in question had been ordered by the Sweden-based Lion Ferry as a combined ferry/cruise ship, but Lion Ferry had subsequently cancelled the order. Wallenius Lines named the incomplete ship MS Bohme and had her completed as cruise ship. Following delivery the Bohme was chartered to Commodore,and she set on her first cruise from Miami to Saint Thomas on 7 December 1968. With the Bohme Commodore Cruise Line became the first company to operate week-long cruises out of Florida around the year.

By 1973 Lion Ferry and Fred. Olsen had acquired interests in Commodore. As a result, Lion Ferry's MS Bolero joined the Bohme in Commodore fleet for the northern hemisphere winter seasons 19731976 (the Bolero spent summers in USACanada ferry service as Prince of Fundy II). In 1976 the Bolero was replaced by another ferry, MS Caribe, that was also used by Commodore during the winters and USACanada ferry service during the summers. Like the Bohme, the Caribe was registered in West Germany during her service with Commodore.

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