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Un-RHEA-lised: Ex CUNARD ADVENTURER To Scrap Heap — Updated

Posted on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 by

Coral 29jun2012 Eleusis CHoffmann_DSC4192 copy

MV CORAL at Eleusis. Photo and copyright Hans Hoffman 2012.

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Sad news from Piraeus today with the announcement that plans to bring the laid-up CORAL back to service in 2014 as the LOUIS RHEA have been scrubbed. Laid down for Overseas National Airways but completed for Cunard Line in 1971 as the CUNARD ADVENTURER, the 14,194 gt, 945 passenger ship enjoyed successful careers as NCL’s SUNWARD II (1977 — 1991), Epirotiki’s (and later Royal Olympic Cruises’) TRITON (1991 — 2004) and finally, Louis Cruises’ CORAL. The ship was laid up at Eleusis at the end of her 2011 cruising season.

CORAL will likely be given an abbreviated delivery name for the short trip to Aliaga sometime in the next few weeks. Her as-built twin sister, the CUNARD AMBASSADOR, was nearly destroyed by fire after a mere two years of service in 1974, spending the next nine years as a livestock carrier before another fire consigned her to the breakers.

Coincidentally, another former Cunarder, the ex CUNARD COUNTESS of 1976, which last operated as OCEAN COUNTESS for Majestic International Cruises, caught fire at Chalkis on November 30. The ship appears to be beyond economic repair and will probably be joining the CORAL at Aliaga in the next few weeks.

January 2, 2014 UPDATE: According to Jonathan Boonzaier of Tradewinds, the ship has been renamed CORA and will be sailing under her own power to Alang, not Aliaga, for scrapping.

Special thanks to Marina Marinou and Hans Hoffman

12 Responses to Un-RHEA-lised: Ex CUNARD ADVENTURER To Scrap Heap — Updated

  1. matthew arruda

    December 11, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    no more 1960s ships left to scrap. time for the 70s era cruise ships. sad.

  2. alan dumelow

    December 12, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Matthew: yes, very sad, but “no more 1960s ship left to scrap” isn’t quite true. CORAL’s running-mate LOUIS AURA is 3 years older, built 1968 as STARWARD. And her sister SKYWARD built 1969 is still running around as LEISURE WORLD. And CLUB HARMONY ex Costa Marina was built 1969. Then there’s the 1960 built FUNCHAL, and not forgetting QE2. You could also include AZORES, built 1948, and sisters LISBOA + DAPHNE built 1955….AND of course the Big U. But yes, the 1st generation cruise ships are in the firing line. Watch this space for OCEAN STAR PACIFIC next.

  3. Kalle Id

    December 12, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Alan & MAtthew: Plus, on the ferry front there is still the AMUSEMENT WORLD (ex-PATRICIA etc) from 1966.

    And on the more traditional passenger ship form, we still have the LOFOTEN of 1964, the BORE (ex-KRISTINA REGINA) and SERENISSIMA (ex-HARALD JARL) of 1960, the NORDSTJERNEN, FINNMARKEN and SJØKURS (ex-RAGNVALD JARL) of 1956, the BIRGER JARL of 1953 and HÅKAN JARL of 1952. And the two converted WWII US/UK warships, the BRAHE and ORION from 1943.

  4. Arthur Farrow

    December 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    hi, elusis bay in Greece seems to be the death knoll of all ships that get laid up there,maybe Peter Knego can tell me how many ships are left there? also how do I get his DVD about Alang.

  5. Peter Knego

    December 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Dear Arthur Farrow,

    Thanks for your inquiry. Eleusis has pretty much been emptied of its important passenger ships in recent years. It has been a ghost of its former self for at least a decade. With the departure of CORAL, the only other vessel I know of in its realm is the ex MONACO/STAFFORD, etc. which once sailed out of the U.S. for Starlite Cruises. There may be other ferries but I haven’t been in over two years so could not elaborate much further. With regard to the Alang DVDs, you can order them at http://www.midshipcentury.com I’m offering a special for orders of two or more with a 10% rebate on the total price as well as a free 2014 desk calendar while supplies last. Thanks for asking and all my best, Peter

  6. alan dumelow

    December 13, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Hi Kalle: Oh well, if you want to start listing cruise-ferries and Hertegruten (ha ha), let’s not forget:-
    – Freewinds x Boheme (1968)
    – Ocean Majesty x Juan March (1966)
    – Porto x Istra (1965)
    – Golden Prince x Joy Wave (1967)
    – Hebridean Prince x Columba (1964)
    – Galapagos Legend x Helgoland (1963)
    – NG Endeavour x Marburg -fishing trawler- (1966)
    – Ji Mei x the once beautiful Prinsesse Ragnhild (1966)

    See Matthew: the world’s your oyster for 60’s cruise ships yet to recycle.

  7. alan dumelow

    December 13, 2013 at 2:54 am

    Hi Peter. According to my Greek brokers, Atlantis x Monaco x Stafford is in a really really bad state (as is Golden Prince sitting
    at Heraklion these past years) and the only thing stopping each being sent for recycling is, for different reasons, there’s still an
    ongoing legal battle over outstanding finances and debts. Shame.

  8. matthew arruda

    December 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    i’m very interested in the m/s freewinds. i see it on the aruba webcam,it always there. looks like a well preserved, small classic ship. i’d love to see some interior pics of her, but there is not many online, unless anyone can help me with a link.

  9. Kenneth Eden

    December 16, 2013 at 5:32 am

    The FREEWINDS, more popularly known for her role as a cruise ship back in the ’70’s for Commodore Cruises, sailing as the MS BOHEME, is currently sailing as a passenger vessel for the Church of Scientology and their interests, and is a common sight in many Caribbean ports of call.

    Interiors of FREEWINDS on the web are info on the ship are vague at best. If someone can post them here, that would be of gtreat interest to many.

  10. Kenneth Eden

    December 16, 2013 at 7:38 am

    If there is anything nice to be said for a ship junk or scrapyard, once they were, possibly still are, used for spare parts, that is what spare and junk are.

    One fairly obscure, by today’s standards, what the Greek, possibly “great Greek”, ship yards once were was in the business of conversion.

    Conversion from tubs, old bottoms, some not so old, some not worthy some still worthy of sea life, with amazing conversions that saw these old ocean denizens emerge from the ship yard as new shining passenger ship, cruise ships, that helped build the industry with new passengers seeking the wonderful life with sea holiday’s.

    Oh so wonderful many were , seeing some of the most famous and highly regarded cruise ships in their day sailing as new again, a rebirth, born from rust sailing with pride. This was not a mere recarpeting or refurbishment, it was all out total rebuilding in most cases.

    Cargo ships, ferries, old ex-liners, and the like, from sows ear to silk purses. Back in the day, the Greek yards had a most lucrative business in the rebuilding of the unwanted, to the new, not so exclusive, but, comfy ships, that held sway with the best of them.

    Having sailed several of these ships personally, there was always a flaw or two, some tell tall sign of the ships past, maybe an oversight, perhaps, but nothing too terribly bad, the worst, seeing these saved divas of the sea going for scrap after years of new life, delighting thousands of passengers.

  11. Kalle Id

    December 16, 2013 at 10:36 am

    To the best of my understanding the FREEWINDS has been heavily rebuilt by the Church of Scientology. If I have understood correctly, she is the only place where one can attain the highest levels of scientology and the interiors have been retooled for these purposes. I presume very little of the attractive original interiors remain.

    Alan: Well, not all ships on my (or your!) list were ferries or ex-Hurtigrute. The FREEWINDS was actually built as a cruise ship (although based on a ferry design), and several of the others were converted to proper cruise ships at some point.

    Also, the GOLDEN PRINCE is not the ex-JOY WAVE. This seems to be a common mistake, but the latter was built in 1967 as the FINLANDIA in Finland, and later sailed as the FINNSTAR, PEARL OF SCANDINAVIA, OCEAN PEARL, PEARL, COSTA PLAYA, ORIENTAL PEARL, JOY WAVE and finally GOLDEN PRINCESS before being scrapped in 2009. The still-existant GOLDEN PRINCE was built in 1973 as the WAKASHIO MARU in Japan and has sailed as the SUN FLOWER 7, PRINCE and MINOAN PRINCE.

  12. Clive

    December 16, 2013 at 11:43 am

    There is a video (out there on the Internet) presumably produced by the Scientologists on Freewinds. It covers all her interior spaces and cabin accommodation. I am more than certain that she looks better now than she ever did. In fact the whole style of her, apart from the learning (indoctrination) centre, gives the impression of a very luxurious yacht.

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