Home » Past Ships » Hope For The ‘HOLM’? MONA LISA’s Appeal To Stockholm — Updated

Hope For The ‘HOLM’? MONA LISA’s Appeal To Stockholm — Updated

Posted on Monday, July 26, 2010 by

MONA LISA, ex KUNGSHOLM, at Stavanger. Photo and copyright Tom Rinaldi 2010.

July 26, 2010 Update::  Kudos to Mr. Hallgren for his ongoing efforts to find a home for this former Swedish icon.  He is in talks with the port of Stockholm (who were originally NOT interested), which is now showing some interest in providing a possible berth for the MONA LISA.  It is hoped that the vessel can temporarily be used as student accommodation and that she will ultimately be given a permanent mooring.

Original Post:  Although we did mention that scrap buyers were looking at this beautiful ship’s specs a couple weeks back, Tom Rinaldi correctly suggested a proper news piece was in order. After years of planning, Swedish entrepreneur Lars Hallgren withdrew his offer to purchase the 1966-built MV MONA LISA (ex KUNGSHOLM, SEA PRINCESS, VICTORIA, OCEANIC II/SCHOLARSHIP) after the City Of Gothenburg granted only a limited five year lease to berth the vessel. It was intended that Mr. Hallgren would bring the ship to her former home port, restore the original twin funneled configuration and open the ex KUNGHSOLM up as an hotel and convention center. Five years was not enough time to develop such a complex plan and the deal fell through just as the ship’s current active role in cruising will end due to SOLAS 2010 implementations. As originally built, the KUNGSHOLM was considered by many to be one of the most beautiful liners ever, with a near perfect profile. In 1979, the forward funnel was cut down and the aft extended with a conical top when KUNGSHOLM became SEA PRINCESS. Modular cabins were also added in the aft portion of the superstructure. Even with the modifications, the ship was and still is one of the best looking on the high seas. MONA LISA’s charter to German-based Holiday Kreuzfahrten ends in August and unless there is a static role for her somewhere, it is likely she will be broken up at Alang. With thanks to Tom Rinaldi. Please click here for the excellent Swedish American Line tribute website.

30 Responses to Hope For The ‘HOLM’? MONA LISA’s Appeal To Stockholm — Updated

  1. Matthew

    June 25, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Such a shame, there is very little hope now… this beauty is the last SAL ship ever built, not to mention she is a piece of shipbuilding history too, being one of the last ships ever built at John Brown and Company on the Clyde.

  2. David

    June 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Another sad ending. Pretty soon we will be left with cruiseships like the NORGWEIGIAN NIGHTMARE ! a.k.a NORWEGIAN EPIC.

  3. Justin Taylor

    June 25, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    It breaks my heart to know that I ship I have loved since 1984 is likely to be scrapped. Just like the Carnivale and Mardi Gras, the Norway and so many others. There just does not seem to be much interest in saving ‘old’ ships from the scrap yard. And nearly every ‘new’ ship is just one of a dozen exactly alike. No personality, just giant metal blocks that are crowded with as many people as possible. I miss the ’80’s. Ocean liners that were repurposed for cruising like the Fair Sea or stylish newer ships like the Pacific Princess or Royal Viking Sun. I suppose those days are gone for ever. How sad.

  4. Patricia

    June 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Ships have come and gone every since they discovered they could float. This isn’t a surprise. Queen Mary has had a charmed life but loses money. Rotterdam may fail unless all the companies cooperate with each other and you can actually SEE the rooms properly instead of through locked doors. QE2 is, well, doomed. They won’t sell because of the pride issue so I wish ship nuts would stop thinking of them in the same way as Western business practice. If he’d spent the money there’s no guarantee she could sustain enough interest so would go anyway. Scrapping is better.

  5. Corey

    June 26, 2010 at 3:26 am

    I was on queen Mary last night and she is need of 100 million dollars. I don’t think hull has been painted since 92. Paint is peeling with rust holes on promenade deck. Funnels along with waterline has been repainted and lifeboats have been repaired but repairs look mickey mouse to me. All the outerdecks need repair or replacement. Promenade deck was redone but it looks like a inferior job was done. The left side was redone but Oceanside still original. She looks better than two months ago though.if city of long beach don’t lockdown some money they won’t have a tourist attraction . She will past saving.it’s hard for me to see her like this

  6. Will

    June 26, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    This is really sad to hear. I was really looking forward to seeing another ship preserved.

    Justin, people will care once they are all gone. Then they will look back and say, “Oh, we could have saved the Indy, the Kungsholm, the United States, the Saga Rose, it was a different time then it is now, how dumb were we”

    Yes it costs money, lots and lots of money. But even if an attraction like the Kungsholm or United States, or Queen Mary, or the QE2 losses money its entire operating life, its a part of our history that we must cherish.

    I volunteer at the Colorado Railroad Museum. Now granted, our work is on a much much much smaller scale, but last year, we had 261 active volunteers put in 39,219 hours. We finished restoring a D&IM caboose, locomotive 191 (the oldest steam locomotive in the state of Colorado), finished a 15+ year project on D&RGW 50, repainted many cars including coach 280 (built in 1880, its fully operational). This year we are going to finish long neglected business car Rico to full operational condition, its roll out is next month, were almost done restoring a wood caboose. After that we have Busniess car B-8, and GP30 3011 to fix.

    People need to get involved. Every bit of work I do, even though its for free, I feel proud about. The square head nails I made for 191 will be there for many, many years. Even though its a small piece, I can look at the bracket it holds and say, “I made that, and I made it historically accurate”

    Its something I can show my children, and my grandchildren someday. And even though this are bigger and far more complicated, its been proven volunteers can work (Look up the Jeremiah O’Brian). Never give up

  7. Kelvin

    July 5, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Queen Mary needs to come home to Southampton. Unfortunately it’s not going to happen.

  8. max

    July 6, 2010 at 10:28 am

    This article talks about Fremantle looking for a ship to berth as a hotel ship. Mr. Hallgren should look into the idea of having the MS Kungsholm is Australia by talking to the Fremantle City officials, such as Mayor Brad Pettitt. It would be a better alternative to the QE2. Mr. Hallgren should not give up on the Kungsholm just yet.


  9. Deborah DAmbrosi

    July 26, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    The news looks abit more promising Peter. BTW, I had seen your interview with Barry onboard the NORWEGIAN EPIC on another site. Great job. I enjoyed it.

  10. Avery

    July 26, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I can only hope that something comes through for her. I would love to see a third great ship saved this year. After Doulos and United States, one feels that almost anything is possible. Certain? Far from it. But certainly possible. Kungsholm/Mona Lisa is one of the few remaining truly great large liners and a priceless piece of both Swedish and world maritime history. Not to mention, as built she was one of the most beautiful and stylish liners ever built (IMHO) and it would be a joy to see her preserved and restored to that beauty.

  11. Hank

    July 26, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Yes. I want Kungsholm to be saved. And look on the bright side (If it is a bright side). If the Kunsholm isn’t saved, OH PLEASE BE SAVED. We will still have the Stockholm.

  12. Dirk

    July 26, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Hank, sorry but Stockholm is just an old hull that has been stripped and ripped of anything original. Athena sure is a nice vessel but has absolutely nothing inside that would justify her preservation when the day of her retirement is due.
    Kungsholm, aside from the aforementioned vessels, and QE2, is the last remaining treasure that simply must be saved. The Hamburg offer still stands, Lars Hallgren only needs to turn his attention to it if Sweden fails. He has been hinted more than just discretely to this possibility.

  13. Hank

    July 27, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Well at least we still have two for the time being. Stripped or not

  14. Peter Knego

    July 27, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Hi Deborah, thanks for the kind words. Glad you liked the interview. I think Barry is doing a great job with his shows and it was a pleasure to be part of one. As for MONA, let’s hope Stockholm can find her a berth. It’s quite a turnaround for them to even be considering the ship as there was no initial interest.

  15. Kalle Id

    July 27, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    The ex-Kungsholm is (still) an absolutely delightful ship and it would be absolutely superb if she could find a new home in Stockholm. This is probably just wishfull thinking on my part, but maybe she could be moored at Skeppsbron right next to Stockholm’s old town. The Skeppsbron quay will be jobless when another Swedish old-timer, Ånedin Linjen’s Birger Jarl, will be retired this year due to SOLAS 2010. Admittedly the propability is that Mona/Kungsholm will end up in a more remote location if Stockholm do take her, but she sure would look pretty in the heart of the city.

  16. Simon Howell

    July 27, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Please try to save this ship, she is my friend, I worked on her as Sea Princess and she made me what I am today, Without this beauty I wouldn’t be the Cruise Director I am. She was my first World Cruise, I love her dearly, If I had the funds I would buy her. Please save her!!!!!!!!

  17. Croix Picoriello

    July 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I would love to be a part of the team for it. I agree Kalle, Gamla Stan would be an ideal back drop for the return of the yellow funnels and three crowns!! If any one has an email for Lars Hallgren, please pass it on..

    Maybe Kungsholm will be ship 3 or 4 for preservation..(depending on what status you look at the QE2 in)..

    Now just to finalize the rescue ops for the UNITED STATES!

  18. Justin Higner

    July 30, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you so much, Mr. Hallgren. This ship is a treasure, and a historic maritime artifact. It is also a piece of Swedish national pride, and a part of their long history. God Bless this effort, and the best news!

  19. John Fostik

    August 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Every effort must be made to save the Kungsholm, truly the art of master shipbuilders! That only a few have made it to a ” safe harbor” speaks volumes about the lack of historical perspective in our society today. I can only hope that the United States and the Kunsholm have some help from invisible hands to keep them with us always.

  20. David

    August 5, 2010 at 10:36 am


  21. Arturo Pelayo

    September 1, 2010 at 11:25 am

    As someone who lived on MONA LISA / MV Oceanic II when it was chartered for The Scholar Ship between 5th September 2007 and 24th December 2007, I hope that it is not scrapped. The ship, while being from the 60s, proved to be used as a school for us and as a great meeting point for so many people from all corners of the world.

    Mona Lisa is more than a Ship and its smile should be let afloat to make everyone that sees her wonder the beauties of the seas.

    Arturo Pelayo.
    Experience Lead | OceanUniversity.org

  22. Professor Molad

    September 1, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Please make sure this ship is preserved for educational purposes! We, the staff and students of The Scholar Ship, who lived on it during our voyages KNOW the magic that is on board that made it an AMAZING learning environment!!!!

  23. Steve Springford

    September 2, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I see the Mona Lisa is currently on her way to Piraeus having left Germany following completion of her final cruise for her present owners and operators. She is due there on 10 September – let’s hope this beautiful ship is not going there to be sold for scrap!

  24. Johan

    September 4, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    According to the “Save the Kungsholm” group on facebook and swedish newspaper SVD. The city of Stockholm have decided not to move further with the plans for the ship. There should also be a statement by mr Hallgren that confirms this altough i have not read that myself. A very sad day as this almost for sure means that she will be sold for scrap. I dont know for how long time her current owners can let her stay in Pireaus in waiting for a possible solution before selling her for scrap?

  25. Dan

    September 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    If I recall correctly, Stockholm made the decision not to use the Kungsholm as a student living vessel. I don’t think this means that they won’t attempt to find a suitable berth for the ship. Otherwise, why even bother to offer a deal to Mr. Hallgren if the plan was simply to have ship made into a floating university?

    Another option for the ship is to place her at the City of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. This was the city government that originally wanted the SS Rotterdam. Perhaps they might be open to the idea of having the Kungsholm there. I can’t understand why the Gothenburg and Stockholm City Officials are reluctant to help Mr. Hallgrens’ business venture when they are not the ones paying to acquire and renovate the ship into a static attraction that would provide tax revenues for them?

  26. Robrt

    October 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Mona lisa, will now be used in Oman Duqm. ( she arived here 2 weeks ago)
    New port, new shipjard/ dock`s of daewoo, they will use it for 5 next years as accomodtion.

  27. hank

    June 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Has anyone heard what happened to the Mona Lisa since the country was plunged into protests?

  28. Bill van Eck

    November 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    If at all possible,please save this beautiful ship,I worked on her during the late 80’s as the Sea Princess
    She is indeed a very handsome beauty,her interiors are all wood paneling,in fact there is a lot of wood throughout the ship.
    Her engines purr like a cat,she’s very stable and gives you a safe feeling.
    There are beautiful large brass portholes in the forward lounge.
    For me she was a great ship to have worked on,many wonderful memories.
    But I also realise that we are moving forward into mordern times,that doesn’t always mean that ships today are any better,I think the reverse is true.
    Give me an “old” cruiser anytime to spent my holidays…

  29. Michael lowry

    November 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    If any one knows present location and contacts numbers/info we are presently looking for the/a ship to Buy and will take care
    We have docks available
    thanks for your help

  30. james

    October 24, 2013 at 6:12 pm

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