Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Maxim Gorki, Oceanic, Regal Empress

This month brought about a number of changes for Vintage Cruise Ships.

Perhaps the saddest of all is the beaching, in Alang India, of the Maxim Gorki, ex Hamburg of German Atlantic Line. The futuristic ship, which enjoyed a long career under Russian ownership, was no longer economical with her fuel hungry steam engines and the slow down of the economy. Looking almost new, it is sad to see the ship grounded on the beach with her bulbous bow almost fully exposed. Within the next few weeks, work will begin to haphazardly dismantle the ship and chop away at her classic profile until she is all but a memory.

On a happier note, the Oceanic of Pullmantur (Formerly the Oceanic of Home Lines / StarShip Oceanic of Premier Cruises), has been sold for use as the Peaceboat for the Peaceboat Organization. The ship will sail worldwide itineraries on Japanese good will missions. It appears that this great ship will have an extended life for years to come.

On March 6th, 2009, the Bahamas Celebration began sailing for Celebration Cruise Line. Celebration Cruise Line is the new name for Imperial Majesty Cruise Line.
With the change of name, came the retirement of the Regal Empress. The Regal Empress, was originally built in 1953 as the Olympia for Greek Line. In 1982, she underwent a major refurbishing and had her engines replaced with modern diesel engines.

Although further plans for the Regal Empress have not been announced, the ship remains laid-up in Fort Lauderdale. There was interest in returning the ship to Greek waters as a national monument and there are rumours circulating that she has been sold to Indian breakers for $3 Million dollars

Both the Maxim Gorki/Hamburg and Regal Empress are covered in additional articles within this blog.

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