Royal Cruise Lines

Established in the early 1970’s, Royal Cruise Lines first ship was the Golden Odyssey. The Golden Odyssey was built in Denmark and entered service in 1974. She was the first purpose-built Greek cruise ship and at 6,757 gross tons, she carried 460 passengers. The Golden Odyssey originally sailed in the Greek Islands and on America’s West Coast, and eventually cruised worldwide. The Golden Odyssey was part of the Royal Cruise Lines Fleet from 1974-1988. She was sold to Norwegian Caribbean Line (NCL) in 1988, and sold again (by NCL) to a German cruise operator. The ship became Astra II for various German cruise operators. In 2001, Astra II became Omar 2.

Royal Cruise Lines second ship, the Royal Odyssey began service with Royal Cruise Lines in 1982 and the Crown Odyssey was added to the fleet in 1988. In 1989, Norwegian Caribbean Line acquired Royal Cruise Line, which was part of the Kloster Group at the time. During this time Norwegian Caribbean Line was experiencing an explosive expansion, but within two years, Norwegian Caribbean Line was in financial turmoil and it began selling off various assets. While Royal Cruise Line maintained a separate identity initially, Golden Odyssey was sold in 1994, and Crown Odyssey became Norwegian Crown as part of the Norwegian Caribbean Line fleet in 1996.

While Royal Cruise Line was in service, it had an excellent reputation and over the years it had developed a very loyal following. But when Norwegian Caribbean Line took control, Royal Cruise Line lost its excellent reputation. Because of this, Royal Cruise Line, at the time, was no longer worth maintaining as a single ship operation. Norwegian Crown was transferred to the newly acquired Orient Lines (no longer operating today) in the 1990’s. At that time, Norwegian Crown regained her original name – Crown Odyssey.

It was announced, in 2002, that Crown Odyssey would return to the Norwegian Caribbean Line fleet in September 2003. Norwegian Caribbean Line is now Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and it has 12 vessels in it’s fleet.

Royal Odyssey has an interesting beginning and a tragic end. Read on the find out more about this Royal Cruise Lines Ship.

*The Zim Israel liner Shalom was built in 1964. After only three years, she was bought by the Deutsche Atlantik group in 1967 and renamed Hanseatic (2). She was sold again to Home Lines in 1973, and named Doric (Home Lines needed to find a replacement for the fire-damaged Homeric (1). She served with Home Lines until the new Atlantic was delivered in 1981, when she was sold to Royal Cruise Line as their Royal Odyssey. In 1988 she became the Regent Sun in the Regency Cruises fleet. She has been inactive since the Regency Cruises bankruptcy, despite an announced sale to Royal Venture cruises as their Sun Venture. Later names were Sun and Sun 11, with owners Canyon Ranch. She never sailed in service again and sank in 2001 on the way to the breakers.


*Simplon Postcards (2008). Retrieved April 16, 2008, from

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