Ocean Cruise Lines was founded in 1984 by a group of American, British, and Swiss businessmen. The luxury cruise line featured two vessels including the Italia (initially) and the Ocean Islander. Italia was built in 1967 and according to Simplonpc.co.uk, Italia was one of the earliest purpose-built cruise ships. It featured an advanced design with rear engines and lifeboats mounted on lower decks, which left the top deck open and spacious. Italia was designed by noted Italian designers Gustavo Finali and Romano Boico. The two designers also designed other luxury liners of this time such as Augustus, Guglielmo Marconi, Homeric, Raffaello, and Oceanic. Italia sailed under the name Ocean Princess with Ocean Cruise Lines — which was also the name it sailed under with Costa Line.
Ocean Princess was in service with the Ocean Cruise Lines brand from 1984-1993. She spent her summers in the Mediterranean and winters on Latin America and Caribbean sailings. Ocean Cruise Lines was sold to Accor SA and Chargeurs SA in 1990 and by 1993 she had sunk to the bottom of the Amazon. In March 1993, Ocean Princess hit a sunken wreck in the Amazon. She settled on the bottom flooding the lower decks and the engine room. No one was injured during the sinking, but Ocean Princess was declared a Constructive Total Loss.
Although Ocean Princess was considered total loss, she was sold to a Greek Company and renamed Sea Prince. Sea Prince was set to re-enter service in 1995 with Sunshine Cruise Line, but the ship caught fire in May 1995. According to Simplonpc.co.uk, Ocean Princess was bought by Cyprus-based Louis Cruise Lines and briefly renamed Princesa Oceanica. Following a further major refit, she was chartered to Thomson Cruises as the Sapphire. Today, Sapphire is still in service with Louis Cruise Lines operating cruises from Cyprus. Her LCL sisters include: Orient Queen, The Aegean Pearl, Thomson Destiny, Aquamarine, Thomson Spirit, The Emerald, Ivory, The Calypso, Coral, and Cristal.
Sapphire Ship Specifications
Gross Tonnage: 12,263
Draught: 6,80 m
Cruising speed: 16.5 knots
Electric Current: 110V AC
Cabin Amenities: All cabins are equipped with telephone and radio.
Facilities: 2 Lounges, 2 Restaurants, 3 Bars, Piano Bar, Casino, Conference room , Boutique, Library, Swimming Pool, 3 Elevators , Fully Air-Conditioned Telephone, Fax, Satellite Telephone, Doctor on Board.
Ocean Islander was originally the Adriatica San Giorgio of 1956. The ship sailed from Italy to Piraeus, Istanbul, and Izmir. In addition, she sailed from the east coast ports of Trieste and Venice and the west Mediterranean ports of Genoa, Naples, and Marseilles. Ocean Islander could hold 274 passengers in three classes and the ship was 4,755 gross tons. Ocean Cruise Lines took ownership of Ocean Princess in 1984. At the time the name had been changed from San Giorgio to City of Andros. When Ocean Cruise Lines was sold to Accor SA and Chargeurs SA in 1990, “Ocean Islander was not part of the deal.” Ocean Islander was sold to the African Safari Club , a Swiss-owned company. She was renamed Royal Star and was used on cruises out of Mombasa to the islands of the Indian Ocean. Today, the M.S. Royal Star is still very much in service with noteworthy African Safari Club. The M.S. Royal Star is 5,600 tons and she carries a maximum of 200 passengers. The ship also has 137 officers and crew.
M.S. Royal Star Ship Specifications
Displacement: 5,600 tons
Length: 120 meters
Width: 16 meters
Draught: 5.6 meters
Speed: 16 knots (approx. 30 km/hr)
Lifeboats: 6 with 432 seats
Life rafts: 5 for 125 people
Tenders: 2 with 180 seats
Registered: Nassau, Bahamas
Passengers: 200 (maximum capacity)
Cruise Director: European
Ships Officers: Greek
Service Staff: Indonesian/Filipino