What Happened to the Former Royal Caribbean Ships? P.1 | CruiseBe
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What Happened to the Former Royal Caribbean Ships? P.1

10 minutes read • June 20th, 2017
We continue one of our favorite columns - the stories of the companies' former ships. Of the ships that stood at the origins of the success of the current cruise market leaders.
Today we would like to talk about the fate of the ships that used to serve the

Royal Caribbean company


Three Norwegian companies founded Royal Caribbean in 1968.
Song of Norway became the company's first ship in 1970.  
The ship was built specifically for Royal Caribbean!
© Tony Garner/Wiki/CC BY-SA 4.0

Initially, the ship accommodated 724 passengers and had a tonnage of 18,000 GT.
Since cruises on her were very popular, the company's management decided to make the ship a bit bigger.
In 1978, her length increased by 85 feet (25 meters), tonnage increased to 23,000 GT, and capacity - to 1024 passengers.
The ship operated cruises from Miami. By the way, Song of Norway was the first cruise ship that visited Labadee.

After 26 years (!), in 1996, they decided to sell the ship. After all, the company's fleet already had the huge (in comparison with Song of Norway) Vision class ships.
The cruise liner was sold to Sun Cruises. She was called Sundream.
The ship was significantly modified: they removed the Sky Lounge, which was located around the funnel.
© Trainthh/Wiki/CC BY-SA 3.0

Sundream operated cruises under the Sun Cruises' flag for 7 years.
In 2004, the former Song of Norway was sold to the Israeli company called Caspi Cruises. The ship was named Dream Princess.
The ship changed owners several times.
In 2007, the liner was sold to Pearl Owner Ltd. Then the ship was handed over to Peace Boat.
The ship was called Clipper Pearl, then Clipper Pacific.
In 2009, the cruise liner was sold to International Shipping Partners, and, after repairs, she received the new name - Festival.
The ship began to cruise under the flag of the old owners - Caspi Cruises.
In 2010, the liner received the new name - Ocean Pearl.
© Tony Hisgett/Wiki/CC BY 2.0

After a long career, in 2012, the former Song of Norway was sold to a Chinese company as a floating casino.
The ship was named Formosa Queen, and she cruised until the end of 2013. Then the ship was sold for scrapping.

Nordic Prince, a sister of Song of Norway, was the second ship that became a part of the young Royal Caribbean company. Just like her sister, the ship was built specifically for Royal Caribbean.
The Caribbean islands from Miami were the main itineraries of the ship. By the way, Nordic Prince was one of the world's first ships built specifically for cruises.
Nordic Prince as Carousel © raether/Wiki/CC BY-SA 4.0

Just like her sister, Nordic Prince was renovated in 1980. She was extended by 85 feet (25 meters). Her tonnage was increased to 23,000 GT, and the capacity - to 1,200 passengers.

In 1995, the cruise liner was sold to Sun Cruises. Two years before her sister. In fact, Nordic Prince was the first ship that left the Royal Caribbean fleet.
Her Sky Lounge was dismantled, as well as her sister's one.
The ship operated the Mediterranean cruises in summer and the Caribbean cruises in winter under the new name of Carousel.
© hola-amic.com/Wiki/CC BY 2.0

In 2004, the ship was sold to Louis Cruise Lines. However, Carousel sailed under the flag of Sun Cruises until May 2005.
Since mid-2005, the former Nordic Prince became known as Aquamarine. The ship cruised the Mediterranean. Genoa was her home port.
© Slowmover/Wiki/CC BY-SA 3.0

From 2006 to 2008, the ship was rented out to Transocean Tours. She was called MV Arielle.
In 2010, Aquamarine was sold to the Mexican company called Ocean Star Cruises. Ocean Star Pacific was her new name.
Arielle as Ocean Star Pacific © michael clarke stuff/Wiki/CC BY-SA 2.0

The further fate of the ship is a bit chaotic. There was a fire on the cruise liner in 2011. Then there was a repair.
In May 2012, the former Nordic Prince was sold to PV Enterprises International. As far as we understand it, she was transferred to the Asian market. The ship was renamed to Pacific. Until 2014, the cruise liner operated cruises in Asia.
In December 2014, she ran aground near Manila already under the new name of Pacific Victory.
In February 2015, the ship was left in the ship breaking yard in Alang, India.
The fate of the similar cruise liner in Alang.

Sun Viking was the third ship of Royal Caribbean. She was the third sister of the Song of Norway class built specifically for Royal Caribbean.
The ship became the part of the company's fleet in 1972.
Sun Viking operated cruises along the Pacific coast of the USA and Mexico. She was homeported in Los Angeles.
© mrdot./Wiki/CC BY-SA 2.0

Sun Viking served Royal Caribbean for 26 years.
In 1998, the ship was sold to Star Cruises. She was renamed SuperStar Sagittarius.
The cruise liner worked in the Asian market, she changed several owners and names.
From 1998 to 2003, she was called Hyundai Pongnae and simply Pongnae.
In 2003, the ship was transferred to the Asia Cruises' fleet. She was renamed Omar III.
As far as we understand, the cruise liner became a gambling ship.
© SteKrueBe/Wiki/CC BY-SA 3.0

From 2007 to 2011, the former Sun Viking was known as Long Jie.
In 2011, the new owners renamed the ship Oriental Dragon.
The ship is in service and operates cruises in Asia.
© Santiago Alvarez/Wiki/CC BY-SA 2.0

The next ship, just like the previous ones, was built in Finland specifically for Royal Caribbean. Her name was Song of America.
The cruise liner joined the company's fleet in 1982. The Caribbean islands were her main destination, and Miami was her port of registration.
The ship remained on this itinerary until 1998.
In May 1998, the ship was sold to Sun Cruises. However, she remained the part of the Royal Caribbean's fleet until 1999.
© Rept0n1x/Wiki/CC BY-SA 3.0

The ship was sold for $ 94.5 million. It is interesting to know that, unlike the other ships, Sky Lounge around the funnel remained untouched.
The ship was called Sunbird.
In 2004, the ship was sold to Louis Cruise Lines. It's interesting to know that the cruise liner did not join this company's fleet. She was rented out to Thomson Cruises.
The cruise liner got the new name, Thomson Destiny, and began to sail in the Mediterranean and "surrounding areas" (the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, the West African coast, the Canary Islands, and Gibraltar).
© Kalle Id/Wiki/CC BY-SA 2.5

The ship operated the Caribbean cruises for some time.
In 2012, the cruise liner returned to the Louis Cruise Lines fleet. Louis Olympia was her new name. Louis Olympia sailed along the Greek Islands and the coast of Turkey.
In 2014, the cruise liner served as a floating hotel in Sochi during the Winter Olympics.
© itonga © Itonga.livejournal.com

After the Olympics, the ship received the new name - Celestyal Olympia.
It happened due to the rebranding of Louis Cruises, which became known as Celestyal Cruises.
The ship is still in service!
© CeeGee/Wiki/CC BY-SA 4.0

Viking Serenade was the last ship for today.
This ship's fate is extremely interesting!
Unlike the previous ones, this ship was not built specifically for Royal Caribbean!
The ship was built in 1982 for Scandinavian World Cruises and was called MS Scandinavia. At the time of her construction, she was the biggest cruise ferry in the world!
MS Scandinavia served her company for several years.
From 1985 to 1990, the ferry cruised for Sundance Cruises and Admiral Cruises. Her new name was MS Stardancer.
© Lyn Gateley/Wiki/CC BY 2.0

Royal Caribbean bought the ferry in 1990.
The former ferry became the part of the Royal Caribbean's fleet after the long renovation. A passenger deck appeared instead of a cargo deck for cars, and the ship became known as Viking Serenade.
The ship began to operate cruises in summer 1991.
© Mark Goebel/Wiki/CC BY 2.0

In 2002, the former ferry was transferred to a subsidiary called Island Cruises. Her new name was Island Escape.
© Gibmetal77/ Wiki/CC BY-SA 3.0

Since 2009, the ship was rented out to Thomson Cruises under the same name.
The ship operated cruises around the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands.
Another renovation took place in 2010.
© Christian Ferrer/Wiki/CC BY-SA 4.0

In late 2015, it was reported that the ship was going to be sold to a young startup company called Diamond Cruises. However, something went wrong.
In 2016, the ship received the new name - Ocean Gala.
The ship was planned as the floating hotel.
In August 2016, they planned to turn the ship into an Asylum hotel.
However, because the ship didn't meet regulations of Finnish-Swedish Ice Class Rules and because of the other problems, she returned to the "market" with the purpose of the further sale.
© HenSti/Wiki/CC BY-SA 4.0

The further fate of the ship is quite sad.
The former beautiful Royal Caribbean's ship served as the hotel for the Suez Canal employees. In May 2017, the ship crossed the Suez Canal for the last time.
Presumably, she headed towards Alang for scrapping.
Nevertheless, there is the information that the former Viking Serenade stopped in Abu Dhabi along the way to plan her further service!
Let's hope that this will prolong her life!
© Piergiuliano Chesi/Wiki/CC BY 3.0

To be continued.

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