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SAGA RUBY As Burma Hotel — Updated

Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 by

SAGA RUBY's final departure from Southampton Docks. Photo © Si Newall Jan 10, 2014

SAGA RUBY’s final departure from Southampton Docks. Photo © Si Newall Jan 10, 2014

OASIA (ex SAGA RUBY) departing Gibraltar February 15, 2014. Photo courtesy George Gaggero

OASIA (ex SAGA RUBY) departing Gibraltar February 15, 2014. Photo courtesy George Gaggero

Update from Peter Newall February 15.

OASIA departs Gibraltar bound for Suez.

Update from Peter Newall February 7.

The new managers of OASIA are FleetPro  (http://www.fleetpro-psm.com/fleet/ocean).  The company has been consultants to the new owners Millennium View Ltd. since August last year and has been involved in the purchase contract and preparing condition survey reports.  It is encouraging to note that despite her new role as a hotel ship she will be fully classed and registered as a cruise ship.  She is due to leave Gibraltar on Monday bound for Phuket, Thailand via the Suez Canal.  The voyage should take about three weeks.

Update from Peter Newall February 3.

The latest from Gibraltar is that she has been named OASIA (and not OASIS) and is now registered in the Bahamas.  If this is correct, her name may be connected with the Oasia Hotel in Singapore which is owned by Far East Hospitality a large property company in Singapore.  This may be good news as the company has a number of properties in Asia.



Update from Peter Newall January 29, 2014. “It appears that she will be handed over to her new owners on Friday.  Her dry dock work has been completed and this included her cabins and engines and I assume the faulty generator which caused the cancellation of the Caribbean segment of her final cruise.  Her new name is believed to be OASIS and she is expected to leave Gibraltar around the 6th or 7th of February.  More news when I receive it”

Media reports point to the sale of SAGA RUBY as finalized for use as a floating hotel in Myanmar.

Built on the Tyne in 1973 by Swan Hunter, as VISTAFJORD, she was the last passenger ship ordered by Norwegian America Line and the sole survivor of a quartet of iconic liners built after the Second World War.  She is also the last large British-built, operational passenger ship and the longest lasting passenger ship in the history of British shipbuilding still in original condition and with her original engines.

SAGA RUBY was retired by Saga Cruises, ending her final cruise at Southampton on January 9th.  She sailed the following day for Gibraltar and an unknown future.  The sale is reported at $14 million and the buyer, Millennium View Ltd, an affiliate of a private equity fund from in Singapore. ISP, (International Shipping Partners), is expected to manage the ship.

(Burma, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, often called shortened to Myanmar is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. One third of Burma’s total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres (1,200 miles) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Burma’s population is over 60 million).

20 Responses to SAGA RUBY As Burma Hotel — Updated

  1. Elias Giampuranis

    January 28, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    The good news: she wont be going to the breakers this year
    The bad news: Asian hotel ships have life expectancy of ice cubes in the desert!

  2. Peter Larson

    January 28, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    I worked as a Dining Room Steward on board the Vistfjord when she was N.A.L/N.A.C and Cunard. She was one of the best ships I have sailed on. I remember seeing her being built in Wallsend and have friends who helped build her. I am glad that she is not being scrapped like her sister ship Sagafjord. I have friends on Facebook who like me joined the three pages dedicated to both ships and we regularly post our photos from our great times on board. I am sure I speak for all my friends who sailed on her,Fair winds and a calm sea for your future.I hope it is a long time before she ends up like another of my old ships the Q.E.2.

  3. Pete Davies

    January 29, 2014 at 2:33 am

    I’m pleased there is at least a stay of execution. Readers may be interested (saddened!) to learn that the Marine Traffic AIS website is showing the former Cunard Adventurer as waiting for a space at Alang as I type this.

  4. Hank

    January 29, 2014 at 7:42 am

    We can only hope this succeeds. There are only a couple of successful or currently safe passenger ships in Asia (China and Japan). It would be extremely rare for a hotel ship to be a success. Let’s hope this will work and not crash and burn, or run aground on a beach and be torn apart.

  5. Peter Kohler

    January 29, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Burma?! Why then she should be renamed AMRA and repainted in British India Line livery…. and look positively splendid.

  6. John Schubert

    January 29, 2014 at 10:36 am

    God knows I love the Queen Mary but I wish some of these converted old charmers would find moorings as a hotel in a location with reasonable access for us Western ship buffs.

  7. Kenneth Eden

    January 30, 2014 at 3:57 am

    Whatever livery she wears will be strictly up to the owners, and probably must meet strict regulations assigned by the ruling Burmese government, and what is offered within the ship may or may not be “western”. At this point, there are no publicized plans for this much beloved ship. If she looks half as nice as the Hotel Veronica, so much the better for tourists in Burma.

  8. steven taylor

    January 30, 2014 at 5:18 am

    This is a good news story, long may she stay afloat, I only hope the Kungsholm (Victoria/Sea Princess/Mona Lisa etc) finds another new home soon as a floating hotel.

  9. Ray Stroebel

    January 30, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Sad to see her go.
    I did an 11 day voyage from FLL to Lisbon on her. I was privalged to be seated at the captains table for the whole voyage, not too mention private time on the bridge every morning! In all my 25+ cruises, she was the ultimate. Probably as close to the Caronia of the 50’s as you can get. I feel there will never be another ship like her. To me she was a kind of “millionaires Special”

  10. efjohnson

    January 30, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Certainly the best looking ship around, and I hope she can be saved. My favorite being Normandie, which exists only in pictures, I would place Vistafjord right up at the top of my list. The top during my lifetime.

  11. Dan Carter

    January 31, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Too bad that the SS Oceanic nor Saga Rose never had the chance to become a hotel ship like that Saga Ruby and SS Rotterdam.

  12. Richard

    January 31, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    John Schubert, this is why everyone needs to get onboard the SOS campaign to Save the SS United States. https://www.savetheunitedstates.org/

  13. Patricia Dempsey

    February 3, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Yes it’s all true. Her AIS shows the new name. Let’s hope the old girl is a success.

  14. Peter Kohler

    February 3, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    “She is also the last large British-built, operational passenger ship and the longest lasting passenger ship in the history of British shipbuilding still in original condition and with her original engines.”

    Surely not correct. I am sure there are others but two Norwegian America liners already beat VISTAFJORD’s 41-year record: BERGENSFJORD (1913-1959) 46 years service, original machinery etc. and STAVANGERFJORD (1918-1963), 45 years, original main machinery and, of course, same owners, same route etc. etc.

  15. Peter Kohler

    February 3, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    and Canadian Pacific’s s.s. KEEWATIN, built in 1907, last voyage in 1967: 60 years, original owner, original machinery. And of course still with us…..

  16. Arend Volger

    February 4, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Patricia,glad to hear that she is on her way to Singapore.
    However,I can not find her her with the name OASIA.
    Please can you tell me where she is now?
    Thanks and greetings, Arend

  17. Graeme Taylor

    February 5, 2014 at 6:10 am

    The Vistafjord was the first Ship i worked on as an Apprentice Marine Fitter at Swan Hunters . I worked in the Engine room i was 16 years old .

  18. Barry Lawrence

    February 5, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Tonight she is still in Gib look on marinetraffic Webb site and post Saga Ruby and she appears in new Name

    J Barry Lawrence

  19. Roy Warrender

    February 7, 2014 at 4:55 am

    just tried to access Saga Ruby/Oasia on marine Traffic, getting error 404 which normally means page does not exist, any one know any more info is she travelling under her own steam or being towed, to singapore.
    Incidentally just noted another old timer Athena / Azores has arrived in Lisbon from Marseille

  20. Roy Warrender

    February 7, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Happy to say She has reappeared As Oasia still in Gibralter

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