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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Mv Aspire ex Sapphire heads for Alang

Asphire [KN] IMO 6513994 Passenger cruise ship built 1966 - 2,660 dwt

In 1969, Princess Italia began to operate cruises in Alaska, and continued both
itineraries until 1973, when Crociere d'Oltremare canceled her charter to Princess.
She was subsequently chartered to Costa Cruises, who changed her name back to Italia
and operated her on cruises out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1977 Costa purchased
the ship and began chartering her to various companies. This ended in 1983 when Costa
sold Italia to Ocean Cruise Line. Ocean Cruise Line renamed her Ocean Princess
and had her do cruises in the Mediterranean during the summer, and in the Caribbean
and Latin America during the winter.

In March 1993, while cruising through the Amazon, the Ocean Princess struck a sunken
wreck on the river bottom, causing her engine room and lower decks to flood. All passengers
and crew were rescued unharmed, but the ship herself was declared a Total Constructive Loss.

After repairs, she was purchased by Sunshine Cruise Line and due to re-enter service
as Sea Prince in 1995, but a fire broke out on board, and she was again offered for sale.
She was in the end purchased by the Cyprus based cruise line Louis Cruises, who had her
named Princesa Oceanica after a major refit. But Princesa Oceania did not keep her new
name for long, as she was chartered to the British cruise company Thomson Holidays, who
would rename her Sapphire. Sapphire went on to cruise with Thomson until 2002, when she
was returned to Louis. Under the ownership of Louis she retained the name Sapphire.

The itinerary of Sapphire before she was retired included cruises around the Greek
Islands, as well as cruises calling in Lebanon and Syria and various ports of Greece.

source Wikipedia

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