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Adieu RENAISSANCE! — Updated

Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010 by

WINNER 5 (ex AUSONIS -- foreground) with MAESTRO (ex RENAISSANCE) just behind; MV MONT (ex KNOCK NEVIS) in the background. Photo copyright MidShipCentury.com 2010.

August 30, 2010 UPDATE: The MAESTRO is now officially beached behind the remains of WINNER 5 (ex AUSONIA). MAESTRO will be cleared for breaking in a couple weeks, allowing WINNER’s demolition to be completed. Once that occurs, she will be dragged closer to the shore, stripped and cut down. Meanwhile, another Japanese-built ferry has arrived and breaking of PLATINUM II (ex INDEPENDENCE) off Gopnath has reportedly begun in situ. Scrap inspectors are looking at MONA LISA (ex KUNGSHOLM, etc.) but she is of only marginal interest with current steel prices and Alang already almost at capacity.

The 1966-built MAESTRO (ex RENAISSANCE, HOMERIC RENAISSANCE, WORLD RENAISSANCE, AWANI DREAM, GRAND VICTORIA, BLUE MONARCH), which has been anchored off Mumbai for the past couple months in the hope of being resold for further trading, will be beached on or about Tuesday, August 10. The former Paquet ship, the last true French-built passenger ship for a French line, will be run ashore at Alang’s plot 141, ironically, the same plot where the WINNER 5, the half-demolished former AUSONIA, one of the last true Italian-built liners for an Italian line, currently rests.

Reversal of fortune. The former RENAISSANCE as BLUE MONARCH and the former AUSONIA as AEGEAN tWO share a berth a Kusadasi as recently as 2007. Photo and copyright Peter Knego 2007.

The two ships, casualties of stringent new SOLAS regulations, were recently covered in detailed Sea Treks postings:

Click here for BLUE AEGEAN Blog, Part One: A Seven Night Cruise On Board The BLUE MONARCH (former RENAISSANCE)

Click here for BLUE AEGEAN Blog, Part Two: Three Nights On Board The AEGEAN tWO (former AUSONIA)

48 Responses to Adieu RENAISSANCE! — Updated

  1. Simon Howell

    August 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    I really think that beaurocracy has ruined this world!!! We are now left with tower blocks masqerading as cruise ships, God forbid when a major disaster happens with a mega ship, and it will, maybe someone will realise that small is beautifull!!!!!!

  2. Hank

    August 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Adieu Renaissance… :(

  3. David

    August 8, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    I remember renaissance when she did Alaska cruises I think it was in the early 80’s or so before she was on charter to costa. What a lilttle charmer.
    She will be missed

  4. Deborah DAmbrosi

    August 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Another heartbreaker…. :( :(

  5. Paul

    August 8, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    What an absolute shame. I too believe that a major disaster involving one of these cruise behemoths is not only inevitable, but overdue. Which will result in SOLAS regulations becoming even more stringent, and even more of our beloved liners will set a one-way course for the detestable Alang. :/

  6. David L. NYC

    August 9, 2010 at 12:29 am

    She always looked her best in her all-white livery as Renaissance.

  7. Dan

    August 9, 2010 at 1:18 am

    Hi Peter,
    I am sorry to hear that the Blue Monarch is not going to continue sailing once again. I hope that you are able to acquire the ship’s bell, which would be a very valuable treasure. Such a rare beauty of a ship that we don’t see in the United States anymore.

  8. Dirk

    August 9, 2010 at 1:44 am

    She may not be as economical on the inside as one of the modern floating shoe boxes (and after all, pityful as it is, that’s what counts), but she’s way ahead of any of them in her good looks on the outside. A shame that in these days it’s almost impossible to combine efficiency with style and beauty.

    Au revoir, mon petite…you would have made a wonderful hotel and museum…the plans are drawn, but who has the money…

  9. Deborah DAmbrosi

    August 9, 2010 at 6:23 am

    I know that too Paul, I have this huge dread of a terrible disaster going to happen at sea with these huge new megaships. People on cruises are far too relaxed, having too much fun, too many distractions and before they know it…it’s upon them. One of these days, it’s going to happen…….

  10. Joseph Sturges

    August 9, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Liners of 500 to 700 feet in length carrying 400 to 900 passengers have gone the way of “dial” telephones.
    Corporations now think they can pack 3500 passengers and crew and up to 5000 passengers and crew into tall vessels that not only offend the sensibilities, but offend the laws of engineering and nature. Pod propulsion, with its attendant bearing burnout problems, further stress the faith and credibility of those running companies that own these ocean giants. It’s as if “might” makes “right”. When one of these behemoths doesn’t perform as designed, only then will they realize that the Titanic was a bedtime story. Here’s to small ships who maintain a sense of intimacy, allow the joy of docking at Front Street in Hamilton, Bermuda and who make much less impact on infrastructures in port and on the environment as a whole!!!!

  11. Matthew

    August 9, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Now the only Paquet ship left is also the only Chandris ship left, the cruise ferry Royal Iris of 1971…. RENAISSANCE, you will be missed, Au revoir!

  12. David

    August 9, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I agree with Deborah and Joesph. Lets see 3500 passengers 1500 crew a major fire they are not going to be able to get everybody off in a 45 minute time frame like they claim. THATS HORSE PUCKEY…..!!!!! many will perish !!! ITS JUST A MATTER OF TIME !!! The other senario is CAPASIZE !!! in a rough sea or Rogue wave hits one of them !!!

  13. David Walker

    August 9, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I think there has been a repeating cycle in the evolution of ships from the early 1900’s with the gigantic liners ‘a la hotels’ to the small intimate vessels of the mid 1950’s and 60’s, and now back again to the large giganitc floating hotels.

    I found this in a forum that describes it quite well:
    I know that in the past many designers tried their very hardest to convince passengers they weren’t on a ship. The “English country house gone to sea” look of Aquitania for example, all chintz and Adam plaster work. Or the Tuetonic timbered schloss fireplace of the smoking room of the Imperator, to name but two.

    Arthur Davis, the architect, summed it up in 1922 when he was asked “why don’t you make a ship look like a ship?” he answered; “the people who use these ships are not pirates, they do not dance hornpipes; they are mostly seasick American ladies, and the one thing they want to forget when they are on the vessel is that they are on a ship at all. If we could get ships to look inside like ships, and get people to enjoy the sea, it would be a very good thing; but all we can do, as things are, is to give them gigantic floating hotels”…
    That was in 1922! “Give them gigantic floating hotels”. And so it is, that todays cruising public wants and requires larger ships with lots and lots of options for dining, entertainment, nightlife, open deck space with sporting venues and large Movies Under the Stars screens, waterslides, and pools, and luxury amenities like balconies and spacious suites, and not a small tired ship that is 45 years old.

    Sure it is sad to see these little ‘classics’ go away one by one, but it is inevitable that in the near future they will all be gone. Will we be ‘lesser’ for it? Not really. Only for those who sailed in them will there be felt a true loss, and those numbers are small and getting smaller every day. And eventually them and their memories will be gone, and we will march on into the end of this 21st century with a hundred cruise ships looking like apartment blocks of balconies, because THAT is the evolution of design based on what is required by the modern cruising public, not what those stuck in the bygone halcyon era remember so fondly and wish would come back. It wont happen. And for those those lament about every new build and beached classic get used to it, because the parade just got started.

  14. David Walker

    August 9, 2010 at 10:55 am

    P.S. All of you Doomsday theorist forget that todays cruise ships are built significantly better than these classic ships of bygone days, with modern extensive fire detection and extinguishing systems throughout and massive fire doors. Case in point was the 2006 fire on Star Princess which did heavy damage but was contained and extinguished after burning for 1 1/2 hours and with the loss of a single life, but no Morro Castle style ‘death and destruction’ event some of you seem to be hoping for!

    Look at document page 18 for pictures.

    Video of the Fire:

    And that is another reason why these small ships that are non-SOLAS compliant are going away.
    QUOTE: The regulations covering ‘Construction – Fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction’ are in SOLAS5 Chapter II-2, in which Regulation 9 (Containment of fire) states:

    The purpose of this regulation is to contain a fire in the space of origin. For this purpose, the following functional requirements shall be met:
    1. the ship shall be subdivided by thermal and structural boundaries;
    2. thermal insulation of boundaries shall have due regard to the fire risk of the space and adjacent spaces; and
    3. the fire integrity of the divisions shall be maintained at openings and
    The above linked document is also chocked full of SOLAS regulations that these older classics cannot be updated to, and THAT would be the death by fire all of you naysayers are writing about. However the claim that one of these modern SOLAS complaint ships will be another Morro Castle wont happen.

  15. Deborah DAmbrosi

    August 9, 2010 at 10:59 am

    And who says that can’t happen either?? I think that a capsizing could happen. What worries me are those huge windows that are placed midship. In the movie POSEIDON that was released in May 12, 1006, such a scenerio could happen. If you had seen the movie, you had seen how those huge windows midship caved into the pressure of the water. They aren’t able to take that kind of psi. I’m with David and Joesph.

  16. David Walker

    August 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Deborah: the ‘original’ Poseidon Adventure was released in 1972, and in the almost FORTY YEARS since then the scenario portrayed in it, or in it’s 2006 revisiting, still has not happened. Nor has that type of ‘tidal wave capsizing a large passenger filled cruise ship or ocean liner’ EVER happened. Ever. It makes for good cinema but in reality the probability of it actually ever happening is Zero.

  17. Jan Kramer

    August 9, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Kudos to Mr Walker!

    I love classic liners, but this thread rather reminds me of silly conspiracy theories. And a Hollywood flick is by no means a basis for a discussion on that subject, I guess…

  18. Deborah DAmbrosi

    August 9, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    That’s true David, however I’ve always had concern for the atrium area. And you are right Jan.

  19. Paul

    August 9, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    To David Walker– I see nowhere on this thread anyone “hoping” for “death and destruction” There’s considerably more risk to a vessel (any vessel) than merely fire, but you post as if that’s the only possible untoward thing that can happen. I guess history has taught us nothing after all.

  20. David Walker

    August 9, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Paul: History HAS taught us something. From it we have more of and better designed lifeboats and inflatable, easily deployed survival craft and life rafts, better and stronger hull designs, partitioned fire zones, surveillance cameras, fire extinguishing systems on balconies, redundant fire detection and emergency systems, constant dedicated crew training, and ‘prevention’ technology as well as intervention and protection.

    Read this:

    This from the International Maritime Organization:

  21. David Walker

    August 10, 2010 at 12:03 am

    P.S. Regarding non-fire related cruise ship and passenger liner disasters: can anyone name a modern day cruise ship or passenger liner that has sunk in the last 50 years that went down with a substantial loss of life? Even in the most recent cruise ship sinkings (Oceanus, MS Explorer, SeaBreeze, Sea Diamond, Mikhail Lermontov, even Andrea Doria) occurred without loss of life due to the actual sinking (Andrea Doria’s 51 fatalities were a direct or indirect result of the actual collision, not the sinking)(Sea Diamond reported 2 passengers unaccounted for an never found).

    Notable exceptions:

    The Herald of Free Enterprise (car/passenger RORO ferry) which in 1987 capsized and sank in less than ONE minute when her large ‘car deck’ bow doors were left open after leaving dock, among other contributing and mitigating factors. In that event 193 died (most drowned) in the accelerated sinking in the nighttime departure. That was the worst maritime disaster involving a British registered ship in peacetime since 1919 (91 years!).

    And the truly unfortunate incident involving the passenger sailing schooner  Fantome in 1998 (Windjammer) which when cornered, sank trying to outrun Hurricane Mitch. More than 30 crew perished.

    Admittingly there have been numerous disasters involving overcrowded small foreign ferries typically in the Phillipines, Indonesia, Egypt, etc. 

    Modern day cruise ships and passenger liners have an absolutely remarkable safety record considering the vast number they have carried (tens of millions) in the last 50 years.

  22. Heinu Schütte

    August 10, 2010 at 1:30 am

    No matter what rules and regulations there are or how diligently they are adhered to, something can still go wrong and result in a tragedy. I just hope nothing happens to any of the floating, pointy-ended boxes. Three thousand lives are just not worth proving smaller is better.

  23. Kalle Id

    August 10, 2010 at 3:04 am

    David: While I agree with what you’re saying, I couldn’t help but notice in your notable exception you haven’t mentioned the Estonia that sank in 1994 in the Baltic taking 852 lives with her. It took her nearly an hour to sink, and despite this only 138 of her 989 passengers were rescued. And this was not some overcrowded small ferry but a modern and technologically up-to-date ship, built at Meyer Werft no less.

    Certainly, safety features on passenger ships have improved since (and in part because of) the Estonia ans she was to a degree a freak accident bought about by a sum of circumstances (then again, isn’t every accident?). But an 86% fatality rate with state-of-the-art safety equipment proves, in my opinion, that the safety equipment in 1994 wasn’t actually that safe.

  24. Gordon Stewart

    August 10, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Classic liners will go for scrap as sure as eggs are eggs – sad but true.. Those really interested in classic ships should try a different approach. No more quick bus tours ending at the souvenir stalls before moving on. Instead, get to know a place in detail then cruise on classic ships as often as you feel like for as long as you like getting off to checkout interesting places at leisure.

    Have a look at my website: paddlesteamers.awardspace.com and find a whole world of classic ships waiting for you. You can be sure that these classic ships will always be there – so long as you use them. You may need to change your way of looking at holidays – but you might never look back !

    There are plenty of fantastic places to keep you enthralled and keep you cruising on classic ships for the rest of a lifetime !

  25. Deborah DAmbrosi

    August 10, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Thank you David for the extra information. Maybe I’m just jumping the gun.

  26. David Walker

    August 10, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Sorry Peter for ‘highjacking’ your article on the Renaissance! ;-(

    Kalle Id: Thank You for bringing the tragedy of ferry Estonia to the forefront. With her car-deck bow doors gone and the massive unstoppable volume of flood waters entering though it’s gapping massive hole in the bow, she was almost certainly doomed from that moment. There are fascinating illustrations linked below showing a timeline of the events surrounding her sinking. Those that were going to survive escaped from below decks within the first few minutes, many being trapped inside and below in the chaos as the ship continued it’s roll onto her side. The report indicates that once she passed 40 degrees escape from inside was all but impossible (less than 11 minutes). Most passengers didnt even react to the situation until 5-10 minutes into the event, too late to survive. The huge loss of life had nothing to do with the lack of, or having, proper safety equipement, but was attributed to the very narrow design of the passageways and stairwells, and large loose items in cabins and in the public spaces not secured to the decks that blocked the ability to escape from cabins and inside the ship.

    From the official report:
    “Most corridors and staircases in the cabin areas were 1.2 m wide” (less than 4 feet wide)..

    “The list made it increasingly difficult to move inside the vessel and to reach open decks. First people tried to help each other, for instance by forming human chains, but soon it became impossible due to the increasing list.”

    “The rapid increase in the list contributed to the large loss of life.”

    Approximatley 680 – 750 were trapped inside due to the insurmountable list and a combination of events that happened inside the ship preventing escape to the outside decks:

    Read subsections 16.5 thru 16.7

    Linked illustrations:




  27. David Walker

    August 10, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    GORDON: I couldn’t agree with you MORE! How many of those crying over lost classics unfairly being beached in Alang have spoken with their wallets and actually cruised them in the last decade of their service? How many chose for their hard earned vacation dollars a new modern cruise ship full of flashy amenities from a mass market cruise line instead of Classic Ships International? Or any of the other classics still around in other small European based cruise lines? Or any of the classics now lost because they just didn’t attract enough customers and were laid up, then scrapped? I am guessing very, very few, or none. Voting with you wallets instead of your tears may have let the owners of those ships now lost know that it may have been worth the cost to upgrade them to the SOLAS regulations. 

    Peter has done us a grand service documenting his adventures on the long ignored and forgotten classics, both as a passenger and as a documentarian of their demise at the scrap yards in Alang. 

    It is indeed sad to see these classic ships go to their ‘deaths’, but the resounding outcry every time one hits the beach from those who did nothing at all to help save them rings hollow in my ears.

  28. David Walker

    August 11, 2010 at 3:30 am

    In my last post I mistakingly referred to a cruise line as ‘Classic Ships International’. The actual name of the cruise line is CLASSIC INTERNATIONAL CRUISES.


  29. Deborah DAmbrosi

    August 11, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I cruised the NORWAY in ’92, ’94, and 2002. Was supposed to have sailed her on Nov. 7, 2003; but the explosion took that opportunity away. :( :( It was my late husband’s favorite ship, because he could hold onto the handrails and walk without problems. She is still my favorite ship and I have some of her memorabilia. :) :) As well as lots of photos of her interiors and exteriors on Webshots Community. We also sailed the SS DOLPHIN in her last years of service. :) :) Again, a wonderful ship.

  30. Gordon Stewart

    August 12, 2010 at 3:54 am

    DAVID. Thnaks for that. Problem is that (most) cruise companies are fully “commercial” and irrespective of use, ships come to the supposed “end” of their lives and are scrapped. They are generally too expensive to refurbish and too much dfor enthusiast groups to take over because they are so big. With my type of ships, “death” can be avoided many times… many are well over 100 years old but recently fully refurbished to “as new” for another 30 year stint. I do give a fair amount of my money in donations because there are enthusiasts groups which can and do make a real difference. They operate in partnership with the commercial companies and part-fund the renovations and as they also sail on them, the companies know that they would lose a decent slice of their market if they didn’t do this. At a pinch enthusiast groups can operate the ships themselves as they are small enough – but it is tough. I would like all the world’s liner enthusiasts to join together, buy Oceanic and run her on heritage lines. It could be sone because there are so many liner enthusiasts worldwide (if they pay up ……) . At present we are trying to save PS Lincoln Castle (see recent news thread on MM) but it is proving almost impossible – see link to the website on the MM article). However, there are numerous organisations through which the common man can make a real difference. Unfortunately not with liners. You just have to hope (vainly) that someone comes up with hundreds of millions of dollars for them…………………At least paddle steamers are realistic subjects for operational (or static) preservation !

  31. Heinu Schütte

    August 12, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Has she been beached yet?

  32. Gerry S

    August 12, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    What a shame, she has beautiful outdoor spaces and pool areas as shown by Peter’s MM tour, but alas, no bright red or blue spiral slides.

  33. Joe Sprinkler

    August 14, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I agree that small is beautiful and that trying to cram everything into one place makes it less special and unique.

  34. George W.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    And so it continues, one classic ship after another heading for the scrap heap. Its really tragic. But the real tragedy will occur, God forbid, when one of these floating sardine cans with up to 5000 people on board catches fire or is hit by some other disaster. This has been mentioned by several others in earlier posts.

  35. KJR

    August 19, 2010 at 7:13 am

    In perhaps a little bit of contast to what most commentators say here, I’d say that when these 40-60 year ships end up for demolition, things only come to their natural conclusion.

    Their designers and buildes probably did not expect them to last so long. Bearing in mind the vast change in the business concept, from liner voyages to cruises, that these ships experienced, they have served astonishingly long.

    It is easy to dismiss modern cruise liners as shoeboxes etc, but I’d say there is no clear definition of “classic” ship. Rather, this depends on time: perhaps in 2060 Norwegian Epic will be seen as “classic.”

    However, I do agree with the writers who deplore the fact that nobody is building small cruise liners any more. This brings dark clouds to the horizon of companies that operate such tonnage: after 1990 or so, few vessels below 50,000 gt entered service.

  36. Kenneth Eden

    August 20, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Having sailed in both the World Rennaisane and Mermoz, both Paquet French cruises, in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the Mermoz was a solid ship, and had an air about her that was so lacking on the WR. These two ships were advertised by Paquet French Cruises as a replacements for the SS France, touting all that was French and chic at sea atr the time.

    I shall miss the WR, as she was a cridible little thing, as I do miss the Mermoz, since she was so French, and, she was a true replacement, in her own way, for the France.

  37. Lance

    August 20, 2010 at 9:30 am

    My father sailed for many years (both cargo and passenger ships), and I remember several times he took ships to Taiwan in the 60’s and 70’s for scrapping. The live expectancy of most ships is about 25 years of service. Some are lucky to serve longer, or to have good owners who make sure that they are well serviced.

    SOLAS has doomed so many grand ships. It’s hard to feel the romance of many of the new builds, but they are all we have. It will be interesting if in a couple decades anyone sheds tears for any the newer cruise ships, or will we still be waxing poetic about the “good old days…”

  38. jay caulk

    August 26, 2010 at 4:51 am

    As the former Managing Director for Paquet Cruises for 20+ years, I had the luxury of bringing the Renaissance out of the yard and into service..she was host to untold celebrities and numerous Music Cruises at Sea..I shed a tear when reading this article..she was the first..FIRST..ship built solely for cruising, in those day..the other cruise ships were converted ocean liners..sad..so sad

  39. John Cant

    August 31, 2010 at 3:54 am

    When I worked for Costa in the 70’s and 80’s, we chartered the Renaissance,
    . renamed the World Renaissance and used her on 14 day cruises ex Miami to the Caribbean. A beautiful little ship. Good old days when Costa was owned by the Costa family, and named their owned ships after members of the Costa family, such as Carla C (ex Flandre), Enrico C(ex Province), Federico C, Eugenio C, most of them being around 20,000 tons, except the Eugenio C which was around 35,000 tons. Costa operated mainly pre-owned ships with the exception of the Federico C and Eugenio C, which were built for them. The oldest was the Franca C built in 1914, which still survives today as the Doulos, Flavia, which operated MIami to Nassau on 3 and 4 day cruises, was originally the Media of Cunard Line. Chartered ships were the Angelina Lauro, Italia,
    Stella Oceanus and more. NIce old ships and now all gone.

  40. Peter Bowcher

    August 31, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Hi all
    Yes the arguments can go back and forth and I agree each of the authors have reasonable valid comments, new versus old, large versus small or modern versus classic.
    My fondest memories are from the simple days of cruising, and yes the smaller more intimate vessels where you actually got to know the crew, the cruise staff and where a cruise director was friendly….. unfortunately the industry has changed, the passenger has changed, life is faster, we have less holidays, passengers want to be entertained 24/7, they can’t sit still and sadly the days of taking a 21 day cruise and happy to relax in a deck chair and read a book would drive many mad !! ( I did say sadly !!!)
    These days people want more bang for their buck and I have to say I really enjoyed my experience on some of the newer modern vessels, the choices and facilities were great. I am careful though, not interested in the many mass market queue everywhere ships and still want to see some sense of a nautical feel and being at sea not a fun park !! I also look for a ship that sought of looks like a cruise ship aswell……. but still nostalgic with the old vessels making their sad way to Alang, they have served us well and will be missed by those of us who have cruised on them or seen them in port. I was always keen to visit a ship when in port, the large box style ships of today lack that appeal for me.

  41. Dave Lee

    August 31, 2010 at 7:51 am

    QM2 is the only “classic” liner left now. At least she looks like a ship unlike Victoria or the new QE. What a joke those ships are.

  42. David

    August 31, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    I dont want to disagree with David Walker but having watched a NGM (natgeo) show on ROGUE WAVES, It is possible that a large top heavy liner COULD AND WOULD CAPSIZE in a rogue if hit from the side or a a frontal angle and the side. The Queen Mary (1936) during world war ll was struck by one and the said had she rolled another 2-3 degrees she would have gone over. Anyway It could happen but will it ?

  43. Corey palm desert

    September 1, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Everyone should feel lucky we still have ships in one form at least . Yes they all look the same and there is no sheer and no long bow and rounded stern. But at least they are in business they are fun and can be inexpensive. I m still mourning over the Norway and azure seas being gone. It’s economics. People care about the interior and not the exterior . So let’s go on a cruise and enjoy the ocean.

  44. Dave

    September 1, 2010 at 6:30 am

    ss Rotterdam (1959) was nearly overturned by a rogue off Casablanca early in it’s career.

  45. Alan Dumelow

    September 5, 2010 at 4:12 am

    I have grieved the loss of so many classic ships this passed year, not least “Blue Monarch”. Thankfully, there are one or two cruise companies marketing some old timers; Classic International Cruises for one (although I wish they’d take that stupid, ugly, huge ducktail off “Athena”), and one or two companies considering spending money on a few classics still available. As the cruise markets continue to expand, so they will diversify and, ok, if you want the glitz fizz and bang of the new monsters, so be it: each to their own. But there will always be people who want a classic cruise on a classic small to medium sized ship. Way to go !

  46. Roberto Giuffredi

    September 6, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Hi guys:
    I actually worked on board the World Renaissance while chartered by Costa, between July 1983 and roughly towards the end of March 1984, when while docked at Livorno (Italy), the ship was re-painted with the Epirotiki colours. That very same day the contract between Costa and Epirotiki ended. The ship arrived at Livorno in the morning and by dawn the funnel was bearing the Epirotiki logo. Well, that day my contract with Costa ended too! During the previous 8 months I had more fun aboard the WR than I’ve had the rest of my life, and I am now 49. For those who were on board with me during those 8 months or maybe just a week or two, passengers or not, I am Roberto Giuffredi, the Venezuelan based Italian who along with Omar Gallegos run the disco at the Cafe de Paris, by far the top attraction on board, especially after the show in the main lounge ended every night. At the time, the ship did not have a disco and while based in Caracas they hired the services of my Caracas based company (the very well known and extremely popular “New York New York Miniteca”), which included a complete disco equipment with lights and real dico effects like smoke, mirror ball, strobo lights, etc. etc. It was really and truly the highlight of the ship for the last eight months Costa chartered it from the Greek company, and whoever was on board then, undoubtedly remembers it. Well, on September 23rd 1983, soon after we put our disco equipment on board and redecorated the “Cafe de Paris”, we departed from La Guaira (Caracas, Venezuela) and visited Los Roques Islands, Aruba, Margarita Island and then sailed downstream the Orinoco River up to Puerto Ordaz. After a few hours docked at this river port we sailed upstream back to La Guaira for a unique experience not yet offered by any other cruise ship to date. On a funny note, the Captain was a greek national named Iannis Papadopoulos, who was actually not to happy to have me on board his ship during the entire 8 months, as apparently he often liked the girl I “made friends” with. He did like the disco though, as he rarely spent a night without visiting it. On a more serious note, they were in total 8 seven day cruises marketed as “Islas y Costas de Venezuela” (Venezuelan Coastline and Islands) and I remember every single weekly cruise was completely sold out.
    For those who remember the “Cafe de Paris”, here is my email address : robertogiuffredi@cs.com. I am more than willing to share memories and photos taken on board the World Renaissance and I would actually love to hear from anybody from the staff or any of the numerous passengers that boarded the ship back then. Want a little more? After spending those first 2 months in the Caribbean, we cruised the Atlantic docking at the Azores, Lisbon, Barcelona, before we finally arrived at Genova. Then we spent roughly 2 more months cruising the Mediterranean in cooler weather, before the ship was rested for drydock, again in Genova, headquarters of Costa. A few days later the WR saga continued sailing towards Portsmouth (U.K.). From there we started a series of trips back and forth between the UK and South Africa,mainly transporting South African nationals, who were fleeing their country (the fear of the Apartheid has struck many) to emigrate to the UK. These trips were not like cruises as such, actually they felt altogether somehow different and many older passengers claimed that those trips had some of the flair the old passenger liners had. Those trips were actually marketed by TFC Cruises. The exceptions were 2 marvellous Chrismas and New Year cruises between Cape Town and Port Saint Louis (Mauritius Islands), docking at Port Elizabeth and Durban. The majority of the passengers were wealthy Sout African nationals. By the way, the trips back and forth between the UK and S.A. had a unique itinerary, in fact we docked at Las Palmas(Canary Islands, Spain), Freetown (Sierra Leone) and the amazing stopover at Saint Helena in the middle of the Atlantic, were the ship remained at bay and passengers and crew got ashore on the ship’s lifeboats! Incredible, right? Well, there are many more memories and experiences I would like to share. My email is somewhere stated above and I can only look forward to hear from anybody who remembers anything that happened aboard the World Renaissance during those 8 months.

    Roberto Giuffredi

  47. Greg

    September 9, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    If the public would buy tickets on these older ships, these lines wouldnt be selling them to the scrappers, they would be making money. Fuel is the other issue, somehow if we could get these older liners refitted I think they would be worth while restoring. but the public has to buy …thats whats its all about. I think a good concept would be to to gut these little girls and make them the most luxurious ships afloat. I think the owners could go so luxurious that it would attract the public. it is possible. I would rather sail in a luxurious cabin with a porthole than these generic stack a box balcony ships. With smaller ships they can go to exotic ports unlike these mamoth ugly boats, they dont deserve the name ship….
    for once can we please not have the U.S. dictating what ships should be like??
    lets get the designers to renew these old girls before its too late. just like a classic car it can be done, on a bigger scale yes, these new ships are 500 million, heck spend 40 million sprucing up these old girls, its still 460 million cheaper???do the math…..

  48. Thierry

    September 10, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I discover these last images of Renaissance. I saw her leaving saint nazaire several times where she had been built and went for repair. When a kid I made a model of her. Was completely white at the origin
    Thanks for these last images

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