Pullmantur Cruises was started up in the year 2000, following the failure of Premier Cruises. From the mid 1990's onwards, Pullmantur already offered cruises aboard the SeaWind Crown and the Rembrandt from this company, but the contracts between them were ended in 1997 and Pullmantur started thinking about their own line.
The company originates from a touroperator from Madrid, Spain that was founded in 1971 and offered landexcursions, citytours and bustours in Spain. They ventured into cruising by offering accomodations aboard the Premier Cruises ships and this way, they gained some experience. After the failure of Premier Cruises, Pullmantur bought the Big Red Boat 1 and re-named her Oceanic for cruises from Barcelona since the spring of 2000. The company grew quickly and added a second ship in 2002, the former Pacific Princess from Princess Cruises under the name of Pacific. Next to her, Pullmantur started sailing with several ships they chartered from Cruise Invest. These ship, originally built for Renaissance Cruises around the year 2000, were more modern then the older ships and were given names like Blue Dream, Blue Moon and Blue Star. These names can be very confusing, because the ships were sometimes marketed under those names without really being renamed, sometimes one ship used several names and only one time, the ship was really named Blue Moon. Also, the ships had different colours then the others.
The former R Seven of Renaissance Cruises, under charter to Pullmantur Cruises in 2007 seen sailing the Northsea Canal from Amsterdam towards IJmuiden. She is seen under the name Blue Moon in the livery especially for the former ships of Renaissance Cruises.
Few other ships were bought by the company, mostly for very short periods of time. In 2007, just after the company had bought the Sky Wonder from P&O Cruises Australia, Pullmantur Cruises was bought by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and kept as a seperate entity within the Group. Mostly, the large groups of campanies are buying smaller lines to replace older units from the main fleets and this was also one of the reasons RCCL moved into Spain. Pullmantur itself also still is in operation with citytours, bustravel and Pullmantur Air, something they had started up in 2003. Carnival Corporation, the largest competitor for RCCL, acted by buying Iberocruceros from the Spanish touroperator Orizonia and also ventured into Spain, but they pulled back in 2014 leaving the Mediterranean to Costa Cruises.
Royal Caribbean bought the two of the former Renaissance Cruises ships and with those, that seemed to be out of place in the Pullmantur fleet, they started up another subsidiary, Azamara Cruises. This company was to be more upmarket. Pullmantur recieved the Horizon and Zenith from Celebrity Cruises, but later on was absorbing the older units from Royal Caribbean Cruises itself. In the end of 2008, Pullmantur recieved its largest ship to date, the Sovereign Of The Seas, which was renamed Sovereign. When this ship started sailing in 1990, she was the largest cruiseship ever built. One sistership followed over the years to Pullmantur, the former Monarch Of The Seas as the renamed Monarch. Just like the former Empress Of The Seas that is now sailing for Pullmantur under the shorter name Empress. Also in 2008, RCI started up a French-based line named Crocieres de France and the management for this company was done through Pullmantur. There were also mentions about the Majesty Of he Seas coming over to Pullmantur, but this was never materialized. In 2015, it seemed that the South American market, in which Pullmantur sailed regularly due to their Spanish-orientated ships, was falling apart. Because of this, Monarch was taken out of this market leaving this to Sovereign and was instead replaced in the European homemarket, replacing Empress here. The latter was transferred to Royal Caribbean itself, for whom she recieved back her old name of Empress Of The Seas.
In may of 2016, Royal Caribbean sold 51 percent of Pullmantur to the Madrid-based investor Springwater Capital and with that ended be-ing the controlling company. Royal Caribbean keeps 49 percent though. At the beginning of 2017, the French based Crocieres de France was discontinued and the ships Horizon and Zenith, in the 1990's the first newbuildings from Celebrity Cruises, were added to the Pullmantur fleet. During their years for the French offspring, they were already partially sailing cruises for Pullmantur and named at the Pullmantur website also. So in 2017, the Pullmantur fleet will be four ship strong. It has to be seen of Horizon and Zenith will be renamed to Royal titles (as it seemed that was the new namingstyle for Pullmantur) but my guess is that they will keep their names as they are.
Under this company page, the pages of The Oceanic and Empress are placed. Other ships that have sailed for Pullmantur but are placed elsewhere at Castles Of The Seas are linked below
R Five (used under different names 2002-2004) is placed under Oceania Cruises as Nautica
Blue Dream (2003-2007) is placed as Azamara Journey under Azamara Club Cruises
Holiday Dream (2004-2008) is placed as Saga Sapphire under Saga Cruises
Pacific (2005-2008) is placed as Pacific Princess under Princess Cruises
Blue Moon (2006-2007) is placed as Azamara Quest under Azamara Club Cruises
Oceanic II (2007) is placed as Mona Lisa under Princess Cruises
Horizon (2009-2012 and 2017-onwards) is placed under Crocieres de France
For booking information, visit Pullmantur Cruises