The Oldest Passenger/Cruise Ships still Afloat

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A ship has a lifespan of about 30 years, some seem to lead charmed lives and go from owner to owner without being sent to the breakers. The demise of the Britanis and Romanza and the recent spate of scrappings, trimmed the oldies list down considerably, but the list still has pre-war vessels in it. I don't know how long it will be before SOLAS condemns them to the breakers too, but while they are still afloat we can still experience seeing what shipbuilding was all about. At the time of writing, my information listed the vessels below as still afloat although some were laid up, and some were on their way to the breakers, this list was current up till November 2001 and the data for pre 1959 ships was updated as the information came through. I have tried to use a launch date wherever possible and have listed the ships up till those launched by the end of 1959. Unfortunately it is very difficult to keep a list like this current so any changes that may occur may not be listed because I don't know about them. Certain omissions are possible as the ship may have been listed as going to be scrapped and as such at the time of compilation were not included. If there are any additions or corrections to this list I would be happy to make them. Last updated 18 August 2013 (Emerald, Daphne, Funchal, Arion, )

  Indicates broken up,   Indicates sank.

Pre 1950 built ships

Medina. Built for Mallory Line. Completed 1914. Last reported in service with Good Books For All as a floating ministry/bookshop. It was announced in November 2009 that she would be withdrawn from service on 31 December 2009 after surveyors discovered that she needed major repairs. In March 2010 she was handed over to her new owners, BizNaz Resources International Pte Ltd in Singapore who planned to preserve her under the name Doulos Phos and operate her as floating hotel/restaurant. Name sequence: Medina, Roma, Franca C, Doulos.

  Orion. Built for Carl Julius Forstman as a private yacht. Completed 1929. Last reported under charter to Phoenix Reisen as Regina Maris. She served briefly as an accomodation ship at the Athens Olympics and was sold for breaking up. Arriving in December 2004. Name sequence: Orion, Vixen, Argonaut, Regina Maris.

 Dunottar Castle. Built for Union Castle Line. Launched: 25/1/1936. Was last in service with Louis Cruise Lines as Princesa Victoria. It was reported that she was acquired for use as an hotel ship in the London Docklands area, but this never came to pass and in early 2004 she was sold to the breakers, arriving at Alang on 25 May 2004. Name sequence: Dunottar Castle, Victoria, The Victoria, Princesa Victoria.

  General W.P. Richardson. Built for United States Government. Launched 06/08/1944. laid up in Piraeus, she was managed by Majestic International Cruises. She was occasionally used as a static hotel ship and is unlikely to re-enter commercial service again. In April 2004 she was under consideration for breaking up and in December 2004 she was finally run up on the beach. Name sequence: General W P Richardson, Laguardia, Leilani, President Roosevelt, Atlantis, Emerald Seas, Funtastica, Terrifica, Sapphire Seas, Ocean Explorer I

Stockholm. Built for Swedish America Line. Launched 9/9/1946. Currently in service under the name Athena. She had been laid up in Havana following the cancellation of her 5-year charter with Valtur. Reportedly to be entering service with Festival Cruises Company in December 2002 under the name Caribe operating out of Cuba. She went through a succession of owners until 2009 when she was operating for Classic International as Athena. A name she has carried for quite some time. Entered service with Portucscale Cruises in 2013 under the name Lisboa Name sequence: Stockholm, Volkerfreundschaft, Volker, Fridtjof Nansen, Italia, Italia Prima, Valtur Prima, Caribe, Athena, Lisboa..

  Munster. Built for British and Irish Steam Packet Company. Completed: 1948. Sold to breakers in mid 2001. Name sequence: Munster, Theseus, Orpheus, Orpheu.

1950-1959 built ships


  Augustus. Built for Italia Line. Launched 19/11/1950. It was reported that she was in use as a floating restaurant and hotel at Manilla. However, there was an interest in moving her to Genoa to be preserved. This never happened though and it was reported in September 2011 that she had been stripped of her fittings and was under tow to Alang for breaking up. Name sequence: Augustus, Great Sea, Ocean King, President, Princess, Asian Princess, Philippines.

  Independence. Built for American Export Lines. Launched 03/06/1950. Following the demise of AMCV she returned to the USA and was laid up at the Alameda Naval Air Station. On 5 March 2002, while under tow by four tugs on her way to Suisun Bay her mast collided with the Carquinez Bridge and she was returned to Pier 50 at San Francisco for repairs. Arrived at the Suisun Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, California in April where she was moored outboard of the group of ships that are one row east of the USS Iowa. In late Feb 2002 she was reportedly sold at auction for $4 million to California Manufacturing Corp. of Lorton, Va. Destination unknown. It transpired that the sale was to Norwegian Cruise Line who wish to put her back into service, possibly under the American flag. She has been laid up in San Francisco since 26 July 2004. It appeared as if she has also been renamed Oceanic. In September 2007 preparations were made for her tow to the breakers and on 8 Feb 2008 she slipped her moorings en route to Singapore, and possibly the breakers. By June 2008 the whereabouts of the ship were unknown, but it transpired that she had been anchored off Dubai for a over a year. In October 2009 she was off Alang, initially permission for beaching being denied she supposedly had radioactive/toxic material on board. On the 20th a report was released that said the ship was in danger of sinking due to cracks in her. The ship later suffered a catastrophic failure and broke in half, she is now being broken up on site. Name sequence: Independence, Oceanic Independence, Independence, Oceanic, Platinum II.

 Provence. Built for SGTM. Launched 15/08/1950. Was removed from service as being unseaworthy and sold at auction. Arrived at Alang for breaking up in October 2001. Name sequence: Enrico Costa, Enrico C, Symphony, Aegean Spirit, Ocean Glory I, Classica.


 Aureol. Built for Elder Dempster. Launched 28/03/1951. Reported arriving at breakers at Alang in June 2001. Name sequence: Aureol, Marianna 5

 Ryndam. Built for Holland America Line. Launched 19/12/1951. Last reported in use as a casino at Gulfport Mississippi as Copa Casino. She was due to be replaced by a barge in 2003. In February 2003 she was prepared for her final voyage to Alang for breaking up. On March 14 she got into difficulties while under tow and on 16 March sank off the coast of the Domincan Republic. Name sequence: Ryndam, Waterman, Ryndam, Atlas, Pride of Mississippi, Pride of Galveston, Copa Casino.

  Victoria. Built for Lloyd Triestino. Launched 18/09/1951. In operation for Maritime Mercy Missions as Anastasis. By all reports she is due to be removed from service in mid 2007 and possibly sold for breaking up. In May 2007 it was announced that she was to be withdrawn from service and sold for scrap. She was due to depart on her final final mission in Monrovia, Liberia on July 2nd 2007. Breaking up commenced in 2007. Name sequence: Victoria, Anastasis, Ana.

Ferdinand de Lesseps. Built for Messageries Maritimes. Launched 21/07/1951. Reportedly sold to Indian interests for breaking up in Aug 2002. Was finally beached in mid July 2003 at Alang. Last owner was reported as Louis Cruise Lines. Name sequence: Ferdinand de Lesseps, Delphi, La Perla, La Palma, Sagar.

 Kenya Castle. Built for Union Castle Line. Launched 21/06/1951. Last owner reported as Chandris Line. Reported arriving at Alang for breaking up in June 2001. Name sequence: Kenya Castle, Amerikanis.  


 Tahitian. Built for Messageries Maritimes. Launched 04/10/1952. Last reported in service with Paradise Cruises, in mid December 2004 she arrived at Alang for breaking up. Name sequence: Tahitian, Atalante, Homericus, Atalante.

 Free State Mariner. Built for US Maritime Commission. Launched 29/05/1952. Last operated as Monterey by Mediterranean Shipping Cruises. Suffered boiler problems in September 2006 and could only operate under reduced speed. In early October 2006 she was withdrawn from service and stripped of her insignia and sent to Dubai under the name Monte. On 9 November 2006 she was beached at Alang. Name sequence: Free State Mariner, Monterey, Monte,

 Maasdam. Built for Holland America Line. Launched 05/04/1952. Last reported owned by Stena Line, broken up at Aliaga in Turkey in 2000. Name sequence: Maasdam, Stefan Batory, Stefan.

 Cambodge. Built for Messageries Maritimes. Launched 08/07/1952. In service with Sun Line/Royal Olympic. It was reported in April 2002 that she was to be used as an accomodation ship for the paralympics in Athens, and then be laid up. Arrived at Alang on December 8 2003 for demolition. name sequence: Cambodge, Stella V, S Solar.

 Pine Tree Mariner. Built for US Maritime Commission. Launched 07/11/1952. Sold to breakers in 1997 after being owned by Beihei Hai Tai and operating as Heng Lee. Name sequence: Pine Tree Mariner, Mariposa, Jin Jiang, Queen of Jin Jiang, Heng Lee.

United States. Built for United States Lines. Delivered 20 June 1952. In service until withdrawn in 1968, laid up until sold to Richard Hadley after prolonged negotiations. Was stripped of her fittings and continued in lay up until evicted from her berth and moved to Newport News. In 1992 she was put up for auction and was purchased by Marmara Marine and taken across the Atlantic to Turkey where it was planned to remove the asbestos which made her fireproof. Returned to the USA in 1996, berthing at Philadelphia, where she was supposedly to be restored. Finally purchased in 2003 by NCL, her future may be secure, but no final plans ever saw the light of day and the ship was offered up for sale. Having learned that the ship would be listed for sale in January 2009, the United States Conservancy launched the "Save Our Ship" campaign to raise awareness and funds in support of the vessel. On 1 July 2010, the Conservancy announced that it had received a $5.8 million pledge from philanthropist Gerry Lenfest, enough money to purchase the SS United States and maintain her at her current berth while funds are raised for her redevelopment. Name sequence: United States.


 City of York. Built for Ellerman Lines. Launched 30/03/1953. Reported last owner by Karageorgis line and laid up at Elesius in Greece since 1995. On 11 January 2003, the Mediterranean Sky keeled over following an emergency beaching to prevent capsizing. She had been arrested for debt in 1997 and had been almost totally abandoned. It is expected that she will remain where she lays. In September 2011 shipbreakers were showing a renewed interest in the wrecks. Name sequence: City of York, Mediterranean Sky, Siterranean Sky, Mediterranean Sky.

 Leda. Built for Bergen Line. Completed 1953. Last reported as being registered in Vanatu. Left Ravenna, Italy under tow for Aliaga in August 2001 for scrapping. Name sequence: Leda, Najila, Albatross, Alegro, Albatross, Betsy Ross, Amalfi, Star of Venice.

 Badger Mariner. Built for United States Government. Launched 01/07/1953. Sold to breakers in 1996 after being in service with Island Navigation Corportion as a floating university. Name sequence: Badger Mariner, Atlantic, Universe Campus, Universe.

 Olympia. Built for Greek Line. Launched 16/04/1953. Operated as Regal Empress for Regal Cruises before being sold at auction following her arrest for non payment of debt. Sold to Imperial Majesty cruises in June 2003. Was due to be withdrawn in early 2009 and is expected to be broken up. In March 2009 her replacement arrived and she was taken out of service, and sent to the breakers in Alang. Name sequence: Olympia, Caribe, Caribe 1, Regal Empress.


 Ivernia. Built for Cunard Line. Launched 14/12/1954. Last reported laid up at Iliychevsk while owned by Soviet State Shipping, she was supposedly returned to the Ukranian flag on 20 October 2001and was to be returned to passenger service. This never came to pass and she was beached for scrapping on February 11 2004. Name sequence: Ivernia, Franconia, Fedor Shalyapin, Fyodor Shalyapin, Salona. Salona.

Port Sydney. Built for Port Lines. Launched 29/10/1954. Last operated as Switzerland for Leisure and Cruise. She was reportedly purchased by Majestic Cruises, who intended reactivating her as a cruise ship. in 2008 she was purchased from Majestic International Cruises by Classic International who have sent her on an extensive refurbishment to bring her up to SOLAS 2010 standards. Name sequence: Port Sydney, Akrotiri Express, Daphne, Switzerland, Ocean Odyssey, Ocean Monarch, Princess Daphne.


  Southern Cross. Built for Shaw Saville. Launched 17/08/1955. Was in service with Imperial Majesty Cruises following the collapse of Premier Cruises under the name Ocean Breeze and Imperial Majesty. Taken out of service in June 2003 and sold for breaking up. In September 2003 she commenced her final voyage to the breakers. A last ditch effort to save her failed and in December 2003 they commenced breaking her up. Name sequence: Southern Cross, Calypso, Calypos 1, Azure Seas, Imperial Majesty, Ocean Breeze.

  Carinthia. Built for Cunard Line. Launched 15/12/1955. Last reported laid up at under arrest in Kaohsiung as China Sea Discovery. She was last owned by China Sea Cruises but was reportedly in a poor mechanical condition. She was eventually laid up and sold for breaking up in August 2005. Name sequence: Carinthia, Fairland, Fairsea, Fair Princess.

Port Melbourne. Built for Port Lines. Launched 10/03/1955. After Operating as Princess Danae for Waybell Cruises she was purchased by Arcalia Shipping for cruising under charter to a variety of operators. Re-activated after a period of layup, she is to sail under the name Azores for Portuscale Cruises. Name sequence: Port Melbourne, Therisos Express, Danae, Anar, Starlight Princess, Baltica, Princess Danae, Azores..

Akdeniz. Built for Turkish Maritime Lines. Completed 1955. Last reported operating for Phoenix Seereisen. Currently laid up at Tuzla and owned by Istanbul Teknik University. Name sequence: Akdeniz.

 Empress of Britain. Built for Canadian Pacific Line. Launched 22/06/1955. Possibly under under charter to Thomson Cruises, but not confirmed. Later operated under the "Peace Boat" banner until April 2008 when she was scheduled to complete her voyage and then head off to the breakers in India. Subsequently broken up in 2008/2009. Name sequence: Empress of Britain, Queen Anna Maria, Carnivale, FiestaMarina, Olympic, Topaz.

 Zion. Built for Zim Israel. Launched 19/07/1955. Reported Last in service with Canaveral Cruise Line, laid up at Freeport Bahamas. It was announced in July 2002 that she had been sold "as is" for resale to India. Finally sailed under tow Alang in early February 2003 for scrapping. Name sequence: Zion, Amelia De Mello, Ithica, Dolphin IV


 San Giorgio. Built for Adriatica. Completed 1956. Last operating for StarLine Cruises. She was arrested for non payment of crew in 2008 and later abandoned. In September 2008 she was put up for auction. in 2011 she was still operating as Royal Star for African Safari Club, based in Kilindini Port, Mombasa. By March 2012 she was at Alang to be broken up. Name sequence: San Giorgio, City of Andros, Ocean Islander, Royal Star, Ocean Mist.

 San Marco. Built for Adriatica. Completed 1956. Sank at her moorings while laid up in Greece, having operated as City of Mykonos for Cycladic Cruises. Name sequence: San Marco, City of Mykonos.

 Statendam. Built for Holland America Line. Launched 12/06/1956. Last reported in service with Regency Cruises, following their bankrupcy she was laid up at Eleusis, Greece since 1995 under the name Sea Harmony. In December 2003 she was reportedly sold for scrap. She made her last voyage in March 2004, having never sailed in commercial service following the demise of Regency Cruises. Name sequence: Statendam, Rhapsody, Regent Star, Sea Harmony.

 Ausonia. Built for Adriatica Di Navigazione. Launched 05/08/1956. Last reported operating for Louise Cruise Lines. In 2005 she was to be drydocked and refurbished, for operation under the name Ithaca. She was last owned by Louis Cruise Lines and in 2006 it was announced that she was to be renamed The Ausonia and then later Ivory. In January 2009 it was announced that she had been sold for breaking up. Name sequence: Ausonia, Ithaca, The Ausonia, Ivory, Winner 5.

 Gripsholm. Built for Swedish America Line. Launched: 08/04/1956. Sank while under tow in July 2001. Name sequence: Gripsholm, Navarino, Samantha, Regent Sea, Sea. Last operator: Regency Cruises.

 Jean Mermoz. Built for Cia De Nav Fraissinet. Launched 17/11/1956. Last owned by Louis Cruise Lines, operating as Mermoz and under charter as Serenade. Withdrawn from service in early 2008 and sold to the breakers, she was due to arrive in June 2008 under the name Serena. Name sequence: Jean Mermoz, Mermoz, Serenade, Serenada.

 Sylvania. Built for Cunard Lines. Launched 22/11/1956. After her sale by Cunard she served with Sitmar and Princess cruises and was on a long term charter to Phoenix Reisen, operating as Albatros. At the end of 2003 the charterers started to remove their equipment as repairs to her machinery were uneconomical and in December 2003 she sailed under the name Genoa bound for the breakers at Alang. Name sequence: Sylvania, Fairwind, Sitmar Fairwind, Dawn Princess, Albatros, Genoa.


 Scottish Coast. Built for Coast Lines. Launched 1957. After a period of layup she was reportedly sold to Indian interests for breaking up in Aug 2002. Last operated for Louis Cruise Lines. Name sequence: Scottish Coast, Galaxias, Princesa Amorosa.

 Santa Rosa. Built for Grace Line. Launched 28/08/1957. In service with Louise Cruise Lines as Emerald. She spent some time under charter to Thomson as Emerald. She has since been laid up in Greece since 2009 awaiting new owners or breaking up. She is reportedly SOLAS 2010 compliant but her steam plant makes her an expensive vessel to run profitably. In June 2012 she was reportedly sold to scrap merchants for breaking up. Name sequence: Santa Rosa, Pacific Sun, Diamond Island, Rainbow, Regent Rainbow, Emerald, The Emerald.

 Brasil. Built for Moore McCormack. Launched 16/12/1957. Last in service as Universe Explorer, in late 2004 was discovered to have structural problems and her refit was cancelled. The ship would not be repaired and she arrived at Alang for breaking up in December 2004. Name sequence: Brasil, Volendam, Monarch Sun, Volendam, Island Sun, Liberte, Canada Star, Queen of Bermuda, Enchanted Seas, Universe Explorer.


 Argentina. Built for Moore McCormack. Launched 12/03/1958. Laid up as Enchanted Isle, following the collpase of Commodore Cruise Line. The ship was purchased by Effjohn, the mortgage holder at a court auction today for a little over $2.6 million, they are are hoping to sell her off for further trading, but it is unlikely that she will find a buyer or charterer and will go for scrap. In September 2003 she was prepared for her last voyage, following a long layup in Louisiana. Sailed for the breakers in November 2003 under the name New Orleans. Name sequence: Argentina, Veendam, Brasil, Veendam, Monarch Star, Veendam, Bermuda Star, Enchanted Isle, Commodore Hotel, Enchanted Isle New Orleans.

Rotterdam. Built for Holland America Line. Launched 13/09/1958. Last in service with Premier Cruises lines as Big Red Boat IV, was to be due to re-enter service for Cruiseshares. However, citing forthcoming SOLAS regulations, CruiseShares have indicated that they will not be putting her into service and she remained laid up at Freeport until May 2003 when it was announced that she had been bought by the Port of Rotterdam and her original builders who intend refitting her back to 1960's style and using her as a static museum ship. In mid July 2004 she arrived at Cammel Laird in Gibraltar for further refurbishment before returning to Holland. Since moved to Poland for refurbishment and removal of hazardous material, then to Germany for more refurbishment. Due to enter service as a static hotel/museum in May 2008. This was delayed until 2010 and the ship has finally been opened to the public. (Apparently she never formally carried the name Big Red Boat IV) Name sequence: Rotterdam, Rembrandt, Big Red Boat IV, Rembrandt, Rotterdam.


 Windsor Castle. Built for Union Castle Line. Launched 23/06/1959. Last in service as an accomodation ship for Latsis as Margerita L. Laid up in Greece, She was up for sale for many years and inspite of efforts to preserve her, she was sold to Indian breakers in December 2004. On 14 April 2005, under the name Rita she sailed from Greece en route to the breakers via the Suez Canal. She was the last of the Union-Castle Line. Name sequence: Windsor Castle, Margerita L, Rita.

1960-1969 built ships


  Bremerhaven. Built for Bremer Helgoland-Dienst Argo Reederei. Completed 1960, she was purchased by Sun Line which merged with Epirotiki to form Royal Olympic and Stella Maris was not included in their new fleet. She was to operate as Viking Bordeaux for Mittelthurgau, thereafter it appears as if she was bought by South African based Indian Ocean Cruises, for cruises out of Durban. She arrived in October 2005 but sadly the weather proved to be too much for the ship and she has been laid up in Durban ever since. Supposedly purchased in 2007, she was due to go into service doing cruises from Durban under the name Razzmatazz in August 2007, however, the sale of the vessel did not go through by the end of November 2007 and the cruise programme was cancelled. In April 2008 she was sold at auction to Enterprise Shipping and was due to return to Europe for further service. In Late 2008 it was reported that she was at Alang being broken up. Name sequence: Bremerhaven, Stella Maris, Viking Bordeaux, Madagascar, Razzmatazz.


 Transvaal Castle. Built for Union-Castle Line, she was delivered on 16 December 1961. She operated as Transvaal Castle until sold to Safmarine on 1 January 1966, and renamed S.A. Vaal. She was resold to Carnivale Cruise Lines in 1977 who renamed her Festivale. They sent her for a huge refit which altered the ship considerably. She re-entered service in 1978. She operated for Carnivale until sold to Dolphin Cruise Line in 1996 and renamed Island Breeze. Dolphin amalgamated with Premier Cruise Lines who then marketed her as Big Red Boat III. Premier collapsed in 2000 and she was laid up at Freeport in the Bahamas. In April 2003 it seems as if the end was near and she commenced her final voyage to the breakers in May. She was finally beached at Alang on July 13th 2003 Name sequence: Transvaal Castle, S.A. Vaal, Festivale, Island Breeze, Big Red Boat III, Big Boat.

Funchal. Built for Empressa Insula de Navagacao, she was completed in 1961. Used on the Lisbon-Azores-Madeira route. She was reconditioned as a fulltime cruise ship in 1973, when her steam turbines were replaced by diesels. In 1987 she was sold to Warwick Shipping Company and was been on a long term charter to Fritidskryys of Sweden. She is currently owned by Arcalia Shipping, Panama, and has been marketed as International Cruises and Classic International Cruises. At the time of construction, she was the largest cruise ship ever built in Denmark. Extensively refitted in 2011 to prolong her life beyond SOLAS 2010. Entered service for Portuscale Cruises in August 2013. Name sequence: Funchal.

 Infante Dom Henrique. Built for Cia Colonial Navegacao, Lisbon. she was completed in 1961 to be Portugals largest passenger ship, she commenced service in Spring of 1961 on the company's Africa service. By the early 1970's unrest in the Portuguese colonies pointed to future problems in those areas. With the evacuation of refugees from Angola in 1975, she was retired from service. She was purchased by the Cabinte da Sines for use as an accommodation ship at Sines, Portugal and enclosed in a man made harbour on the beach south of Sines. In 1988 she was bought by Trans World Cruises who renamed her Vasco Da Gama with a view to using her for cruises. Caught up in the demise of Premier in 2000 the ship was withdrawn as well. In September 2000 she was seized at Palma by her charter operators Pullmanturs after trying to "escape" to Gibraltar. She has stuck in Barcelona, Spain with 260 Crew members stranded aboard. In November 2003 she sailed for the breakers at Alang. Name sequence: Infante Dom Henrique, Vasco Da Gama, Seawind Crown .

 Empress of Canada. Built for Canadian Pacific, she served with them until sold to Carnival Cruise Lines, entering service as Mardi Gras. She as disposed of by Carnival and served with a succesion of owners, including Epirotiki Lines. Finally disposed of in 2004, arriving at Alang for breaking up in late November 2004. Name sequence: Empress of Canada, Mardi Gras, Star of Texas, Lucky Star, Homeric, Olympic 2004, Apollon, Apollo .


 Princessa Isabel. Built for Costeira line, she was completed in 1962. Originally one of four ships built for the South American service between the Amazon and River Plate. When Costaleira merged with Lloyd Brasiliero the Princessa Isabela was laid up with her sisters. In 1969 she was sold to the Dominion Far East Line and renamed Marco Polo.She was converted into a cruise ship and then sailed for service in the Far East and Pacific. Eight years later she was sold to Arkley Navigation Ltd. and renamed Aquamarine, however she was not a success and was laid up. In 1981 she was arrested and auctioned off to pay off debts. Bought by Epirotiki Lines from the Bank Of Greece and renamed Odysseus. When Epirotiki and Sun Line merged to form Royal Olympic she was retained in service. In January 2008 she was beached at Alang for breaking up Name sequence: Princessa Isabel, Marco Polo, Aquamarine, Polaris I, Odysseus, Lucky Star, Lucky.

 Anna Neary. Built for Cia Nacional de Navagacao Costiera Autarquia Federal of Brasil and completed 1962. She was sold by Costaliera to Lloyd Brasiliero in 1968. She was acquired by K-Lines in 1978 who renamed her Danaos. She was rebuilt in that same year and took the name Constellation. The ship was impounded by the Bank Of Greece for default on mortage payments and was withdrawn from service and laid up in Perama. The ship was laid up for 7 years before being renamed Morning Star, after being acquired by Rainbow Cruises, with a view for cruises from Singapore. The ship was renamed Regent Spirit and was due to be repositioned in the Mediterranean. Regency went bankrupt in 1995 and she was acquired by Salamis Cruise Lines and she became Salamis Glory, running cruises out of Limassol. In November 2009 she was withdrawn from service and sent to the breakers. Name sequence: Anna Neary, Danaos, Constellation, Morning Star, Regent Spirit, Salamis Glory, Glory.


 Sagafjord. Built for Norwegian America Line, completed 1965. Lief Hoegh & Co sold the Sagafjord and Vistafjord to the Trafalgar House Group, the ships were to operate under the North American Cruises banner but could be transferred to the ownership of the Cunard Steamship Co Ltd. She was acquired by the Cunard Line Ltd. in 1984. In 1996 she passed to Transocean Tours to complete the charter which would have been completed by Regent Sea. Operated by Saga Holidays as Saga Rose, she was to be withdrawn in December 2009. By October rumours were rife that she had been sold for further cruising out of West Africa. In April 2010 the ship ended up calling in South Africa with no real sign of her taking up cruising out of West Africa. She was last reported being broken up in China. Name sequence: Sagafjord, Gripsholm, Saga Rose.

 Aphrodite. Built for Hellenic Tourism Organisation and completed in 1965 as a war reperation by Italy, she was sold to the Greek Sun Lines in 1966. The Marriot hotel group owned a 50% share of Sun Line which was purchased by Sun Line in 1987. Epirotiki and Sun Line merged to form Royal Olympic Cruises and the Stella Oceanis was in service for them. She was taken out of service and subsequently arrived Alang for breaking up on November 30, 2003. Name sequence: Aphrodite, Stella Oceanis, S Ocean.

Istra. Built for Jadrolinija of Yugoslavia as one of 2 sister ships. Completed 1965. Sold to Ukranian interests in 1992 to operate under the name Astra operating from Venice for Caravella Shipping, cruising for the Russian and German speaking markets. After a period as La Sirene, she was aquired by Classic International (Arcalia Shipping). Placed under the Portuguese flag in Aug 2001. Entered service in 2013 with Portuscale Cruises under the name Porto. Name sequence: Istra, Astra, La Sirene, Arion, Porto.

Oceanic. Built for Home Lines and completed in 1965. The Oceanic was sold by Home Lines to Premier Cruise Line Ltd. in 1985 and renamed Starship Oceanic. She was purposely built for cruising and featured a lido deck on her top deck. On 14 September 2000: Premier Cruises announced its lendor, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette had taken possession of its ships. In 2001 she was due to begin sailing for Spanish-based Pullmantur in Mediterranean cruise service beginning with a sailing from Barcelona in 21/4/2001. Sailed from Freeport in March 2001 enroute to Cadiz (via Lisbon) for dry docking in preparation for her charter to Pullmantur, set to begin on 21 May. She was due to leave for Barcelona at the end of April for some interior refurbishment prior to her first cruise on 28 May. She had been purchased by Club Vacaciones and an unidentified airline in preparation for operation by Pullmantur. She was operated by Pullmantur until early 2009 when she was sold to the operators of the Peaceboat Organization and was likely to enter service with them under the Peaceboat name. She was reportedly sold for breaking up, arriving in China in mid 2012. Name sequence: Oceanic, Starship Oceanic, Big Red Boat 1, Oceanic.

 Eros. Built for the Greek National Tourist Organisation, she was completed in 1965 as a World War 2 reparation by the Italian government and named Eros. She was transferred to Epirotiki Lines in 1966 and given the name Jason. She was due to go on charter to Destina Cruises as Destina Legacy from 2001. in 2006 she was to be operated by Indian Ocean Cruises, on two week itinerary around the southwest coastline of India. Arrived in Alang for breaking up in 2009. Name sequence: Eros, Jason, Iason, Destina Legacy, Ocean Odyssey.


Aleksandr Pushkin. Built for the Far Eastern Shipping Company, she was completed in June 1965. The second of five sister ships she was originally used on the Copenhagen, London, Montreal route until 1970 when she began cruising. She had a $1,25M refurbishment which was Completed by Koyo Shipyards in Japan on 25 November 1985. In early 1985 the Aleksander Pushkin was transferred from the Baltic Shipping Company to the Far Eastern Shipping Co. She was sold to Shipping and General Services, London, who renamed her Marco Polo was to be completely rebuilt in time for the 1993 cruising season, with a capacity for 700-800 passengers. Re-entered service for Orient Lines as Marco Polo. She served with Orient Lines until June 2007 when she was sold to Transocean Tours, entering service with them March 2008. Name sequence: Aleksandr Pushkin, Marco Polo.

 Taras Shevchenko . Built for the Black Sea Shipping Company and completed in 1966. One of 5 sister ships she has been laid up Il'ichyovsk ship repair yard under Ukranian National colours. She was refurbished at considerable expense for further cruising service, but the expected passenger loads were not forthcoming and the effort fell through, the ship being sent to the breakers in late 2004. Name sequence: Taras Shevchenko.

Sunward 1. Built for the Klosters Rederei A/S and completed in 1966. Sold by Klosters in 1973 to Cie Generale Transmediterranee and renamed Ile de Beaute, then sold to Eastern Gulf Inc of Panama who renamed her Grand Flotel and who planned to use her in the Persian Gulf. In 1979 she was bought by Saudi Maritime Transport, she changed hands yet again in 1986, this time being bought by Al Sabah Maritime Services Co Ltd. and renamed Saudi Moon I. She was used on the Suez-Jeddah pilgrim ferry run until August 1988 when she sailed for Singapore for reconversion into a cruise ship. She was bought by Ocean Quest International for service in the Gulf Of Mexico and the Caribbean. She was due to be converted into a specialist cruise ship for diving enthusiasts under the name Ocean Spirit. Ocean Quest ceased operations on the 9th of September 1990 while the ship was sold to SeaEscape Ltd. who operate a fleet of gambling ships. In 1991 SeaEscape experienced financial difficulties, and she was disposed of. In 1994 she was renamed Santiago de Cuba and then as The Empress for ferry charter from Florida. Name sequence: Sunward I, Ile de Beaute, Grand Flotel, Saudi Moon I, Ocean Spirit, Scandinavian Song, Santiago de Cuba, The Empress.

Kungsholm. Built for Swedish America Line and completed in 1966. She was sold to Flagship Cruises in August 1975, and commenced cruising from New York for three years under the name Kungsholm. In September 1978 she was bought by P&O and renamed Sea Princess. She was sent to Bremerhaven for a refit, emerging in January 1979 without her forward funnel. Initially operated by P&O Cruises in the Australian, then British markets, she was later transferred to the US market and appeared in Princess Cruises colours. She eventually returned to P&O, and has subsequently been renamed Victoria. In Winter 1999/2000 Victoria operated a cruise on charter to the Union-Castle Line, and received a red/black funnel. It was announced in February 2001 that Victoria would be withdrawn and replaced in the P&O Cruises fleet from November 2002. There were plans for her to be purchased by the city of Stockholm and moored as a permanent hotel in the harbour, however then entered service as Mona Lisa for an Italian owner. Later operated by Holiday-Kreuzfahrten. In late 2006 the company announced its bankrupcy. In 2007 is was announced that the Mona Lisa had been renamed Oceanic II and was being used in Greece by Louis Cruise Lines. Still wearing the Mona Lisa funnel logo she was being used to replace the Sea Diamond which sank earlier in 2007 year. In May 2008 she ran aground while operating under "The Scholar Ship" banner, and in June her subsequent long term cruise programme was cancelled. She was chartered to Peace Boat for the duration of 2008/09 and then returned to Lord Nelson Seereisen and resumed voyages with them until August 2010. Her non compliance with SOLAS 2010 would have seen her sent to the breakers, but buyers were interested in returning her to Sweden as a hotel and museum. This never came to pass and the ship arrived in Oman in October 2010, where was due to be put in service as a floating hotel for 5 years. Name sequence: Kungsholm, Sea Princess, Victoria, Mona Lisa, Oceanic II, The Scholar Ship.

Juan March. Built for the Cia Transmediterranea, completed 1966. Formerly a Spanish Ferry, she has undergone extensive refurbishment into a cruise ship. Was chartered to Epirotiki on a number of occasions. The 1966-built, 10,000 GT OCEAN MAJESTY leased from Greek operators, usually sails in the Baltic under charter to UK tour operator Page & Moy. Name sequence: Juan March, Kypros Star, Sol Christiana, Ocean Majesty, Olympic, Homeric, Ocean Majesty.

 Eugenio C.. Built for Costa and completed in 1966, she was the flagship of the Costa Line until 1997 when she was operated by Lowline as Edinburgh Castle. At the end of the first season, her owners filed for bankruptcy. Chartered to Premier she underwent a 10 month refit, emergings as Big Red Boat II. With the demise of Premier she was laid up. In April 2005 she sailed for Alang breakers under the name Big Red. Name sequence: Eugenio C, Eugenio Costa. Edinburgh Castle, Big Red Boat II, Big Red.

Black Prince. Built for Fred Olsen, she was completed in 1966, She was engaged on the North Sea run under the name Venus in the summer months, with winter cruises from Rotterdam to the Canary Islands. In 1986 She was converted by Wartsila Marine into a cruise ship with 125 new cabins and revamped public rooms. In service with Fred Olsen until taken out of service in October 2009, and prepared for handing over to her new new owners, SAVTECAion. She is to be based in Venezuela and operate under the name Ola Esmeralda. Name sequence: Black Prince, Venus, Black Prince, Ola Esmeralda.


Yao Hua. Built for Guangzou Ocean Shipping Company, she was completed in 1967. She was managed by Salen Lindblad during the late 70's. In 1987 she sold to the Republic of China Maritime Corporation and renamed Orient Princess. Name sequence: Yao Hua, Orient Princess.

 Italia. Built for Oltremara Cruises of Italy and completed in 1967. For a time in 1967 was chartered by Princess Cruises under the name Princess Italia. She was handed back to her original owners in the early 1980's and resold to Ocean Cruise Lines, being refurbished and emerging as Ocean Princess. Sold by Costa Armatori S.p.A. of Italy in 1983, to Oceanic Endeavour S.A. Panama and renamed Ocean Princess. Bought by Paquet Cruises in Mid 1990. In 1994 she was registered as Sea Prince for Sunshine Cruise Line, and then purchased by Louis Cruise Line and renamed Princesa Oceanica in 1995. In 1996 she was chartered to Thomson Cruise Line. When Thomson released her she was chartered to Paquet Cruises. She has since been taken from service and put up for sale. In April 2012 it was announced that she had been sold for breaking up. Name sequence: Italia, Princess Italia, Ocean Princess, Sea Prince, Princesa Oceanica, Sapphire, Aspire.


Starward. Built for Norwegian Caribbean Lines, completed 1968. Converted into a cruise ship in 1977, operating out of Miami, on seven day cruises to the Caribbean islands. She originally had a stern car door and garage space to take trailers, particularly to Jamaica. Starward was sold to Festival Cruises in 1994, their second ship. Currently operating as Bolero for Festival. Name sequence: Starward, Bolero.

  Shota Rustavelli. Built for Black Sea Shipping Company. Completed 1968. One of five sisters of the Ivan Franko class built in East Germany. With the collapse of the USSR she eventually entered layup for 3 years at Iliychevsk, Ukraine. Scheduled to re-enter service in June 2001 as Assedo. Last reported ownership is Marchvin, under charter to Metropolis-Tur. Beached at Alang in November 2003, At one point she was reportedly heading for the far east for use as a gambling ship but this came to nothing. Name sequence: Shota Rustavelli, Assedo.


Skyward. Built for Norwegian Cruise Lines and completed in 1969. She operated out of Miami to the Caribbean. In 1992 the Skyward was put on long term charter to Constantinople Ltd of Singapore doing 7 day cruises to Indonesia. She was laid up in Florida for a spell before departing for Singapore under the name Asean World Skyward. Was renamed Shangri-La World and then Asean World by Kloster Cruise Ltd., Bahamas. She was sold in 1991 to Singapore owners, receiving the subsequent names Shangrila World, Asean World, Fantasy World and Leisure World. She operates under this last name for New Century Cruises in 2000, still sailing out of Singapore.Name sequence: Skyward, Shangri-La World, Asean World, Fantasy World, Leisure World.

  Hamburg. Built for Deutsche Atlantik Linie, she was completed in 1969. She was the first major passenger liner built in Germany since the war. She was kept by Deutsche Atlantik for about a year before being renamed Hanseatic, sold to the Black Sea Shipping Company in 1974. Sold to Phoenix Reisen in early 1993. Purchase price of $37M. It was announced that the ship was withdrawn from service in November 2008 due to rising costs. She was then to go to the Orient Lines as their second ship, but this did not happen due to possible financial constraints. It is now rumoured (late 2008) that she may go to the port of Hamburg as a static museum ship, this scheme never happened and it was announced in early 2009 that she had been sold for breaking up. She was beached on 26 February 2009. Name sequence: Hamburg, Hanseatic, Maksim Gorkiy, Maxim Gorky, Maxim M.

Queen Elizabeth 2 . Built for Cunard Lines, completed 1969. The QE2 was built as a dual North Atlantic Liner and cruise ship, construction commenced on 5 July 1965. She has served in her designed role ever since. Due for replacement in 2004 she soldiered on until 2007 when it was announced that she had been sold to Istithmar, the investment arm of Dubai World, a wholly owned company of the Government of Dubai. for delivery in November 2008. She has subsequently been withdrawn from service and has now sailed to Dubai to be refurbished before entering service as a static hotel, retail and entertainment destination at The Palm Jumeirah, the world's largest man-made island. Due to the global financial crisis the original plans for the QE2 seem to have been put on hold and the ship may not undergo the changes envisaged for her. In 2013 the ship was sent to drydock in Dubai to prepare her for service in the Far East as a hotel Name sequence: Queen Elizabeth 2.

© DR Walker 1997-2013.