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ShipParade correspondent Rui Agostinho can be found regularly at the Lisbon waterfront to photograph the cruise ships that call at the Portugese capital. For this Photo Feature, Rui kindly shares some of the photos he shot in the summer of 2008. Most of them are no longer in service or have since been renamed, which make the photos all the more interesting. Let's travel back in time to 2008!
May 7, 2008 - The beautiful Queen Elizabeth 2 entered service in 1969 for Cunard Line. Designed to combine a career on Transatlantic liner voyages with duties as cruise ship, the 70,000 ton vessel became a huge success. Rui Agostinho photographed her in her final year of Cunard service. She was sold to Dubai and destined to become a floating hotel but has remained idle in the Middle Eastern port since late 2008.
May 10, 2008 - Saga Rose was built in France and entered service in 1965 as Sagafjord for Norwegian America Line. She later transferred to Saga Cruises and was renamed Saga Rose. After 45 years of loyal service, the good looking ship was broken up in China in 2010.
June 3, 2008 - A great shot of Princess Cruises' Sea Princess. The 77,500 ton ship was built in 1998 and is now primarily based in Australia. She ventured back to Lisbon as recent as 2015 though during her annual World Cruise from Sydney.
April 15, 2008 - This is quite a unique photo of the former Swedish America liner Kungsholm. The beautiful twin funneled ship was built in 1966 for the Gothenburg to New York liner service, but was also destined to operate luxury cruises. After 13 years she was sold to P&O Cruises who rebuilt the ship for the Australian cruise trade. Her forward funnel was removed, which frankly did not do much for her looks. As Sea Princess and later Victoria she spent 22 years in the P&O fleet. Her career went slightly erratic after her P&O days, with lots of different names, charterers and owners. In 2008 (when Rui photographed her), she was used briefly as floating campus carrying the name Oceanic II. She arrived in Oman in 2010 where she was used as hotel ship Veronica until sold for scrap in November, 2015 after a career that spanned just short of fifty years.
March 1, 2008 - Seen manoevring from her berth is Royal Princess, one of eight identical ships that were originally ordered by Renaissance Cruises. After the demise of Renaissance Cruises, the eight ships all found a new home. After a stint for Swan Hellenic, R8 became Royal Princess, sailing on worldwide itineraries for Princess Cruises. She was later transferred to the P&O fleet as Adonia. She currently sails on cruises from Miami to the Dominican Republic and Cuba for Fathom Cruises.
September 11, 2008 - Looking great in the evening light is Classic International Cruises' . In the seventies a Greek shipowner had plans to launch an ultra-luxury cruise line and decided to completely rebuild two freight ships. They became Carras Cruises' Daphne and Danae. The venture was short lived and the ships were snapped up by new owners. Both ships carried lots of names and liveries until (at age 50) at Portugal's Classic International Cruises in 2005. Pictured here is her sailing for Classic International as Ocean Monarch. She was later renamed Princess Daphne. and sold for scrap in 2014.
May 20, 2008 - Kristina Regina is seen steaming down the Tagus river. Operated by Finnish Kristina Cruises from 1987 to 2010, Kristina Regina was originally a ferry plying the busy Finland to Sweden route. She later became a full time cruise ship that operated mainly in European waters. Kristina Regina was sold to S/S Bore in 2010 and was completely rebuilt. Carring her original name Bore and livery, she is now a static hotel ship in Turku, Finland.
May 25, 2008 - The famous liner Maxim Gorkiy started her life in 1969 as the avant-garde German liner Hamburg. Hard hit by the energy crisis of the mid seventies, Hamburg spent only 5 years in the German Atlantic Line fleet. In 1974 she was sold to Odessa-based Black Sea Shipping Company and became their hugely popular Maxim Gorkiy. From 1988 she was chartered to German tour operator Phoenix Reisen and was an instant success with German clientele. So much so that Phoenix Reisen operated the ship for twenty years. She arrived in Alang, India in 2009 and was broken up there.
August 13, 2008 - In January, 2017, Swan Hellenic Cruises went into administration and their nice looking Minerva was laid up. The 12,892 ton ship was built in 1989 as a Soviet research vessel and later rebuilt as cruise ship. She sailed briefly for Saga Cruises, but most of her career she has been sailing for Swan Hellenic. Good news is that G Adventures has just acquired the Swan Hellenic brand and Minerva will resume her port-intensive itineraries in 2018.
April 20, 2008 - Dwarfed by the modern floating cities, Hebridean Spirit gives good meaning to the term "small ship cruising". She is one of eight more or less identical ships that are mostly used for expedition cruising these days. Hebridean Spirit is currently sailing along as Caledonia Sky.
May 1, 2008 - A great shot of Delphin Voyager arriving in Lisbon. Built in Japan in 1990 as Orient Venus, the ship was renovated in Greece in 2005 and went through a series of owners and name changes. These days, she is sailing as Aegean Paradise.
September 5, 2008 - After Horizon and Zenith, Celebrity Cruises again turned to Meyer Werft when they wanted to order a considerably larger ship. In 1995, the 70,606 ton Century was welcomed to the fleet. Many of the design elements that are now so popular on present day Celebrity ships can be traced back to Century, later renamed Celebrity Century. In 2015, Celebrity Cruises sold the ship to Chinese interests and she is now sailing as Golden Era for the Chinese market.
March 23, 2008 - Originally built as Homeric for Home Lines in 1986, Thomson Dream has had an interesting career. She ailed only two years for Home Lines before she was sold to Holland America Line in 1988. She was sent her back to her builder's yard in Germany to be lengthened. As Westerdam, she was quite popular in the Holland America fleet but when that cruise line embarked on an ambitious newbuilding program in 2002 she was transferred to Costa Cruises and renamed Costa Europa. It is in that guise that Rui Agostinho photographed her in 2008. She remained in the Costa fleet for eight years. In 2010 she was sold to Thomson Cruises.
June 7, 2008 - Princess Cruises ordered a revolutionary "All Outside Cruise Liner" from Finland's Wärtsilä Yard in the early eighties. As the name implies, this ship had only outside cabins, many with balcony. With public rooms low in the ship, staterooms high up and acres of open deck space, Royal Princess was a trend setter. She remained in the Princess fleet for 19 years and transferred to sister company P&O Cruises in 2005 as Artemis. Six years later she was sold to Artania Shipping who charter to the ship to Phoenix Reisen as Artania. Today she is still as clean cut as she was thirty years ago, which is a testament to the original design team.
May 12, 2008 - Known for their ultra luxury ships, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has been trying to wedge itself into the four-star market a few times. In 1997, they introduced the brand new four star C. Columbus. The 420 guest vessel became well known for the Great Lakes cruises that brought her all the way to Chicago. When Hapag-Lloyd brought in larger tonnage in 2012, C. Columbus was sold to German tour operator Plantours and continued as Hamburg.
September 6, 2008 - Costa Marina was not exactly known for her good looks but boasted intriguing and attractive interiors. Originally built in 1969 as freight ship Axel Johnson, she was rebuilt into cruise ship in 1986. Originally destined for Regency Cruises, she was instead snapped up by Costa Cruises. She entered service for Costa in 1990 as Costa Marina. In 2011 she was sold to South Korea. As Harmony Princess and later Club Harmony she briefly sailed from Korea, but the curtain fell in 2014 when she arrived at Alang, India to be broken up.
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