Continuing Shawn J. Dake’s Cruise Ships 2012, The Year In Review
Louis Cruise Lines agreed to swap their 1,460 passenger LOUIS MAJESTY (ex ROYAL MAJESTY, NORWEGIAN MAJESTY) to Thomson Cruises on a charter basis in exchange for the equivalent sized THOMSON DESTINY (ex SONG OF AMERICA, SUNBIRD) which they renamed LOUIS OLYMPIA when they began using the ship on three and four day cruises from Piraeus in May. The 37,584 ton ship was then laid up but will be reactivated for summer cruises in 2013.
The checkered history of the 25,611 gross ton LOUIS CRISTAL (ex VIKING SAGA, SALLY ALBATROSS, LEEWARD, SUPERSTAR TAURUS, SILJA OPERA, CRISTAL) continued as it was reported in April that the ship had been sold to an investor from Finland. Future plans call for the ship to operate short cruises from Turku under the Finnish flag. Louis also disposed of two laid up members of their fleet. In March, the unwanted SAPPHIRE (ex ITALIA, OCEAN PRINCESS, SEA PRINCE, PRINCESA OCEANICA) sold for scrap, arriving at Alang, India under the final voyage name of ASPIRE.
The laid up 1958-vintage steamship, THE EMERALD (ex SANTA ROSA, PACIFIC SUN, DIAMOND ISLAND, REGENT RAINBOW, EMERALD) was supposedly sold to ALAS International Holdings, Inc. for use as a hotel-ship from May 8th to August 12th at the Yeosu Expo in South Korea to be followed by a return to cruise service sailing from ports in Panama and Columbia. Those plans did not materialize and the ship remained laid up in Greece until a final voyage under her own power to Alang, India where she arrived in August to be scrapped.
Shawn Dake is a freelance photo-journalist and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters.com. For more than a decade he has written his annual “Cruise Ships, The Year In Review” which has now grown to a nearly 15,000 word essay recalling all of the events that have taken place within the cruise industry the previous year.
Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years. A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary. A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs. Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America. With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.