DAPHNE delivered. Photo by Kaushal Trivedi, copyright MidShipCentury 2014.
On June 14, 2014, the 1955-built DAPHNE was beached for scrapping at Alang after a five week voyage from the Cretan port of Souda, where she has been laid up since the September 2012 collapse of last owners, Classic International Cruises.
DAPHNE was built as the refrigerated cargo vessel PORT SYDNEY for Port Line’s UK to New Zealand and Australia service by Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson at Wallsend-on-Tyne. She was laid up in 1971, then sold to Greek-owned Carras Cruises, who renamed her AKROTIRI EXPRESS. Taking inspiration from Sun Line’s successful STELLA SOLARIS, she was completely rebuilt into the deluxe cruise ship DAPHNE, entering service in July of 1975.
As DAPHNE, she sailed for Costa Cruises from 1979 through 1996, when she was sold to Leisure Cruises and renamed SWITZERLAND. In 2002, she was purchased by Majestic International Cruises and renamed OCEAN MONARCH. In late 2007, OCEAN MONARCH was sold to Lisbon-based Classic International Cruises (CIC), who refitted and renamed her PRINCESS DAPHNE. When CIC went bankrupt in 2012, the ship was seized at Souda and offered for sale. Sadly, the only takers were the Alang shipbreakers who were able to fire up the ship’s original Doxford diesel engines for a final voyage to the Indian scrapping beach, where she was delivered under the name DAPHNE.
DAPHNE’s nearly identical twin, the PRINCESS DANAE, is currently at Lisbon undergoing an extensive refit for a hopeful return to service soon for new owners Portuscale Cruises.
Demolition of the DAPHNE will commence after local customs clears the ship, most likely in early July.
Partially dismantled CORA (ex CUNARD ADVENTURER, etc.) earlier this year. Photo by Kaushal Trivedi, copyright MidShipCentury 2014.
Meanwhile, the last remnants of another popular 1970’s era cruise ship, the CORA, are about to vanish from the mud of Alang. CORA was built in 1971 as the CUNARD ADVENTURER for Cunard Line. In 1976, she was sold to NCL and refitted as the SUNWARD II. In 1991, she was sold to Epirotiki Lines (later Royal Olympic Cruises) and renamed TRITON, then in 2004 after the collapse of ROC, was sold to Louis Cruises, who renamed her CORAL.
An intended return to service as the LOUIS RHEA this year was scrubbed when the ship was sold for scrap.
Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea. With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications. Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
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