Tears On The Tagus and More (Heart)Breaking News

Dreaded but important updates regarding a few doomed classic cruise ships and a vintage Hurtigruten liner.


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THE SANDS OF ALANG: The latest DVD about shipbreaking in Alang, India

Although decimated in recent years, the fleet of remaining classic passenger ships thins a bit more with the departure of Portuscale’s never-realized LISBOA, which was built in 1955 as Port Line’s refrigerated cargo ship PORT MELBOURNE and transformed in 1975 to the deluxe Greek cruise ship DANAE, later to serve as BALTIKA and PRINCESS DANAE. After an aborted refit in Lisbon and the collapse of her last owners, Portuscale, the handsome vessel departed Lisbon under tow for Tuzla (secret code name for the breakers at Aliaga, Turkey) this past week. As Portuguese ship historian Luis Miguel Correia recently mentioned in one of his Ships and the Sea blogs, the LISBOA is one of the last surviving ships with a traditional cruiser stern.

The long-neglected former KONG OLAV, idle since 1997 and arguably the most fetching Hurtigruten liner ever, has quietly moved to a scrapyard in Thailand. Final images of this sublimely beautiful, 1964-built vessel, which was supposed to have been converted into a yacht, can be seen on Captain Jan Olav-Storli’s “Captain’s Voyage” blogs. Please go to http://www.captainsvoyage-forum.com/ for more info and don’t forget to brush up on your Norwegian…

The damaged casino cruise ship/ferry BAHAMAS CELEBRATION (ex PRINSESSE RAGNHILD) is also en route to Alang with expected delivery in September.

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A container ship is framed by HARMONY (ex COSTA MARINA, etc.) and AMEN (ex ISLAND PRINCESS, etc.) at Sosiya, near Alang, India, last month. Photo copyright www.midshipcentury.com

Meanwhile, at the Alang/Sosiya scrapyards, three notable cruise ships are being cut down to their last remnants. As of early June, the former Royal Caribbean PACIFIC (ex NORDIC PRINCE, etc.) was two thirds demolished and her onetime Princess Cruises rival, the AMEN (ex ISLAND PRINCESS, etc.), was just over halfway cut and going quickly now that the vessel in front of her has been finished off. A few ships away off her port side, the HARMONY (ex COSTA MARINA, etc.) was also in her final demolition stage.


Container of rescued cruise ship fittings, including many from the former “Love Boat” ISLAND PRINCESS, en route from India to California. Copyright www.midshipcentury.com.

Many fittings, including key works of original Norwegian art and some vintage furniture, were salvaged from the former ISLAND VENTURE/ISLAND PRINCESS/DISCOVERY and are due to arrive in California within the next few weeks.

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Arne Vigne Gunnerud’s bronze Viking Ship prior to its removal from the AMEN (ex ISLAND PRINCESS, DISCOVERY, etc.) in January. Photo and copyright Peter Knego 2015.

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Franz Widerberg’s colored glass panels in the lobby of the former ISLAND PRINCESS just prior to removal at Alang. Photo copyright www.midshipcentury 2015.

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One of a pair of Kristian Ystehede silk-on-acrylic murals of a caravelle in the foyer of the former ISLAND PRINCESS. Photo and copyright Peter Knego 2009.

For more information and availability, please check for updates at MidShipCentury

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

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."
Peter Knego

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