Hotel ship MS VERONICA, owned and operated by Daewoo Shipping and Marine Engineering Oman LLC, is reported to have ceased operations after 18 months as “The Duqm Floating Hotel, Veronica Duqm”. A notice was placed at the entrance of Oman Drydock announcing that the ‘floatel’ had ceased operations effective October 3, 2013.
This ship is familiar to MaritimeMatters readers as the former Swedish American Line’s 26,678 gt MV KUNGSHOLM, (the fourth SAL ship to bear the name) built at John Brown, Clydebank in 1966. Later, she became SEA PRINCESS for both P&O and Princess Cruises, then P&O’s VICTORIA before being sold to Greek interests who chartered to Holiday Kreuzfahrten as the MONA LISA. Later, she was chartered to Spanish-based Pullmantur Cruises, who operated the ship as OCEANIC II in the spring of 2007, then for a brief season as the floating university SCHOLARSHIP. German-based Lord Nelson Seereisen revived the ship for a charter as MONA LISA in the spring of 2008. In 2009, the MONA LISA returned to Lord Nelson and Peaceboat service, reverting to full-time cruise service for Lord Nelson until being retired in September of 2010, due to the implementation of new SOLAS regulations that prohibit any overnight passenger ship to operate with wood in its construction.
Arriving in Oman in late 2010, the ship was refitted as the VERONICA, a luxury floating hotel at Duqm, in the Sultanate of Oman as the only deluxe hotel housing tourists and business travelers. When the Crowne Plaza Duqm, a five-star property, opened its doors earlier this year, her role came to an end.
According to officials, VERONICA is expected to depart Duqm as soon as her next use is clarified.
Please see Peter Knego’s two part tour and history of this fascinating ship in her former life:
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.