The Albatros

Wednesday, 1 July 2020 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month

entering Cairns, Australia © Summerdrought/cc-by-sa-4.0

entering Cairns, Australia © Summerdrought/cc-by-sa-4.0

MS Albatros is a cruise ship, operated by the Germany-based travel agency Phoenix Reisen. She was built in 1973 by Wärtsilä Helsinki Shipyard, Finland for Royal Viking Line as Royal Viking Sea, and has also sailed under the names Royal Odyssey, Norwegian Star, and Crown. She is the second Albatros for Phoenix Reisen as she was the replacement of the original SS Albatros. MS Albatros is also known for her QE2-esque funnel. Her home port is Nassau in the Bahamas. In spring and summer, the albatross is usually in the North and Baltic Seas. In autumn she goes to the Mediterranean and Black Sea before going on a world tour (or another big trip with more exotic destinations) over the winter.

Today’s Albatros was commissioned for the Royal Viking Line at the Wärtsilä shipyard in Finland on November 1, 1969 as the third Royal Viking Star-class ship, to which the two sister ships Royal Viking Star and Royal Viking Sky also belonged. When launched, it was named Royal Viking Sea, following Royal Viking’s naming practice. After the test drives, she left Bergen on January 19, 1974 for her maiden voyage to Newcastle. At that time it measured 21,847 GT with a length of 177.70 m and was used on worldwide cruises. The ships of the Royal Viking Star class differed from other cruise ships of their time by a double-story cinema/theater hall in the front hull area (which still exists today with the Albatros), a restaurant high in the ship with large viewing windows and a glazed lounge above the bridge (today’s Albatros Caribbean Lounge) and a disproportionately large number of suites. In addition, the number of passengers was deliberately kept low at around 550 in order to appeal to a wealthier audience.

© Andreas Trepte/cc-by-sa-2.5 entering Cairns, Australia © Summerdrought/cc-by-sa-4.0 in Bergen, Norway © Timo Engelmann/cc-by-sa-3.0 in Tallinn © Pjotr Mahhonin in Tallinn © Pjotr Mahhonin/cc-by-sa-3.0 off Grutness, Shetland Isles © flickr.com - Ronnie Robertson/cc-by-sa-2.0
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off Grutness, Shetland Isles © flickr.com - Ronnie Robertson/cc-by-sa-2.0
Given the choice to build a fourth ship or to enlarge the existing ones, the Royal Viking Line decided in the early 1980s to enlarge all three ships in the class. By installing an additional mid-section section of 93 ft (27.77 m) in length, space was to be created for more cabins – including nine balcony suites for the first time – and the restaurant was to be enlarged in order to get by with a single meal session despite the additional guests. The Royal Viking Sea was converted from March 11 to June 5, 1983 at AG Weser in Bremen. In fact, for a fraction of the cost of a new ship, space had been created for an additional 600 passengers on all three ships together. However, the enlargement was less well received by the guests, as it lost the original, relatively intimate atmosphere on board.

As a small luxury shipping company, the Royal Viking Line came under increasing financial pressure in the 1980s and was finally bought up in 1986 by the Kloster Group, which gradually handed over the three sister ships of the Royal Viking Star class to their subsidiaries. This is how the Royal Viking Sea came to the Royal Cruise Line, received the new name Royal Odyssey and changed its home port from Oslo to Nassau (Bahamas). At the same time, the conversion of the previous officers’ quarters on the bridge deck into suites increased the capacity to 850 guests. But the financial situation of Kloster also deteriorated and in 1994 the group had to file for bankruptcy. To gain capital, the Royal Odyssey was sold to the Actinor investor group and chartered back for two years. With the expiry of the original charter contract, an odyssey of the ship began through the hands of several shipping companies.

Read more on Wikipedia Albatros. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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