In 1995, a 25,000-ton cruise liner, Leeward, joined the company's fleet.
The history of this cruise liner is quite interesting. Especially before she was purchased by Norwegian Cruise Line. The ship was built in 1980 for the Finnish shipping company (a Viking Line's partner). She was a 14,000-ton cruiseferry. The ship was named Viking Saga.
In 1982, the cruiseferry was sold to a company with an incredibly difficult name - Suomen Yritysrahoitus. It happened despite the fact that Viking Saga (and her sister, Viking Song) became one of the key ships for the development of the then-popular cruise route on the Baltic Sea, Stockholm-Helsinki.
New, more modern and, above all, more capacious ferries appeared on the route in 1986. It was decided to convert the cruiseferry into the cruise ship. We should note that Viking Saga did not become the full-fledged cruise ship after her reconstruction because she still had a deck for cars.
In the same year, the ship received a new name - Sally Albatross - and most importantly, the ship became a part of the fleet of a new brand - Sally Cruise.
In 1988, the ship underwent new refurbishment. This time it was complete. Cabins appeared instead of the deck for cars. Besides, there were external changes.
In 1990, during planned maintenance of a restaurant and a nightclub, a fire broke out on the ship. Almost the whole hull of the ship suffered.
Actually, the ship was built anew. The repair took almost a year and a half (in fact, it took two years). During the repair, the ship was extended by 13 meters, and the number of cabins was increased. The appearance of Sally Albatross also changed.
We can say that almost another ship was re-christened on July 25, 1991. She took her first cruise in March 1992.
However, the ship still had 'hard times'. In the spring of 1994, Sally Albatross nearly sank in the sea ice. Passengers were evacuated, and the ship was towed to the shipyard.
Until the fall of 1994, the fate of the ship was unclear until she was towed to La Spezia, Italy in October.
There, after repair and adjustment to international cruise standards, she became the part of the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet. She got the new name of Leeward.
Since the summer of 1995, Leeward operated cruises in the Bahamas under the NCL flag.
The ship didn't remain the part of the Norwegian Cruise line for a long time. In early 2000, Leeward was transferred to Star Cruises. In the same year, Genting's Star Cruises fully acquired Norwegian Cruise Line (in 2013, the company's share was 28%).
However, let's return to our ship. Leeward got the new name - Superstar Taurus - and a new market - Asia.
Superstar Taurus remained in the Star Cruises fleet for slightly less than two years.
Already in the winter of 2002, after another renovation, the former Leeward returned to Europe and began to operate cruises on the Baltic Sea under the Silja Line flag.
The ship's new name was Silja Opera.
It's interesting to know that Silja Opera operated cruises on almost the same route as Sally Albatros used to.
Bad luck continued to follow this ship. In the fall of 2003, Silja Opera got into an accident with cargo ships in St. Petersburg, and in just a couple of months, she collided with an icebreaker. Ironically, the accident happened in St. Petersburg again. Almost at the site of the first accident.
We should note that the accidents were not very significant and did not affect the ship's cruise schedule.
Silja Opera was a member of the company until 2006. In the spring of 2006, the ship was put up for sale (under the name of Opera).
A year later (in the spring of 2007), the former Leeward was sold to a famous company, Louis Cruise Lines. After the small repair, the ship received the new name, Cristal.
In the fall of 2014, Louis Cruises launched a major rebranding. The company became known as Celestyal Cruises. Taking into account the rebranding of the company, Cristal got the new name of Celestyal Cristal. A little later, the ship received a new livery.
In the summer of 2015, "an ill fate" in the form of a tanker got in the ship's way again. The former Leeward collapsed with her in the Dardanelles.
The ship is still in service and still operates cruises. We hope she will please the cruise lovers for a long time.
The 34,000-ton Norwegian Crown became the next 'former' NCL cruise ship.
The ship was built in 1988 for Royal Cruise Line under the name of Crown Odyssey.
Despite the purchase of Royal Cruise Line by Norwegian Cruise Line in 1989, the ship remained in service under the former name and under the flag of the previous brand until 1996.
In 1996, the ship was transferred to the NCL fleet under the name of Norwegian Crown.
After almost 4 years of service, Norwegian Crown was transferred to Orient Lines (at that time, it was a subsidiary of NCL). The ship returned the name of Crown Odyssey.
In the fall of 2003, the ship returned to the fleet under the former name of Norwegian Crown. The small repair preceded the return.
In the spring of 2006, the company announced that Norwegian Crown would be sold to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. In the fall of 2007, the ship was handed over to the new owners.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines decided to make incredible changes. They decided to lengthen her by 99 feet (30 meters).
The previous length: 187.71 m (615 ft), the new one - 217.91 m (714 ft).
It allowed increasing the total tonnage from 34,242 tons to 43,547 tons. Besides, the ship could accommodate 500 passengers more.
Look at this incredible process:
After reconstruction, the ship became the company's biggest ship. By the way, the new name of the ship is Balmoral.
An interesting fact: in 2012, the ship took a "memorial cruise" along the Titanic's route. She departed from Southampton and visited all the ports visited by the Titanic. On April 14, 2012, at 11 pm, Balmoral arrived at the site of the Titanic's collision with an iceberg.
A requiem was held on the ship. The next day, the ship went to New York.
The ship is still in service and operates cruises.
Norwegian Dynasty joined the NCL fleet in 1997. This beautiful 19,000-ton liner was built in 1993 for Crown Cruise Line. Initially, it was panned to name the ship Crown Dynasty, but the ship began to operate cruises under the name of Cunard Crown Dynasty.
In 1997, Cunard Crown Dynasty was transferred to Majesty Cruise Line. The ship received the new name of Crown Majesty. In the same year, the ship was transferred to the new owners, Norwegian Cruise Line.
In just 2 years, the ship returned to Commodore Cruise Line (Crown Cruise Line). Norwegian Dynasty became known as Crown Dynasty again.
In 2001, Crown Dynasty was sold to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. She got the new name of Braemar.
Besides Norwegian Dynasty, in 1997, the NCL fleet was replenished by Norwegian Majesty.
Initially, the ship was ordered for Birka Line under the name of Birka Queen. However, because of the bankruptcy of the shipyard and the new price of the liner, the ship was built in 1992 for Majesty Cruise Line and was called Royal Majesty.
An interesting fact: because of the first customers' peculiarities, the ship got a kind of almost ice-breaking coating!
Basically, Royal Majesty operated sailings from Boston to Bermuda.
After 5 years, the ship was sold to Norwegian Cruise Line. The ship was extended by 110 feet (33 meters). Dreamward and Windward underwent the similar extension. We discussed it in the last article.
The ship also got the new name of Norwegian Majesty.
In 2004, preparations were aiming at transferring the ship to the Star Cruises fleet (the parent company of NCL). However, she wasn't transferred.
In the spring of 2008, it became known that Norwegian Majesty was sold to the famous Louis Cruise Lines (we've already talked about it in this article).
In the summer of 2009, the ship was transferred to the fleet of the new owners under the new name of Louis Majesty.
In 2012, Louis Majesty was transferred to the Thomson Cruises fleet. Thomson Majesty was the new name of the ship.
It is the fate of the former Norwegian Cruise Line ships.
This story took three parts! However, given the number of new ships that will be constructed for the company in the next 10 years, we can unequivocally state that this list will be replenished!
A small bonus: soon we will write about 2 ships that were the part of NCL but did not take any cruise! Although they could diversify our cruise life.