Monday, 29 February 2016

Random Ship Spotting - Part 1

Over the years with all the cruises we have undertaken, we have seen quite a number of ships in various harbours mainly in the Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic seas. This series of articles, of which this is the first, gives me a chance to catalogue them and present the photos as a collection rather than their being dotted here and there amidst other more general holiday photos. This particular series will not include ships that we have travelled on, as I intend to do a separate series with an article on each of those ships at some point in the future.

The Moby Drea, seen here in Genoa in August 2007. It was launched in 1974 as Tor Britannia, for the Swedish Tor line. In November 1977 she was involved in a dramatic rescue of the crew of a Roll On-Roll Off (RO-RO) ferry, the Hero as that ship sank due to a storm. In 1991 after renovations she was renamed Prince of Scandinavia. She ran aground off the island of Elba in 1997, enjoying the experience so much she did it again also off Elba in March 1999. Luckily she suffered no great damage on either occasion. Third time lucky perhaps... Bought in 2003 by Moby and renamed Moby Drea, she cuts a dashing figure with the Warner Brothers cartoon figures incorporated into her paintwork.

MV Gramosti is a RO-RO passenger and container ferry and we saw her in Valencia in August 2007. She was built in 1984 in Romania as the Paltinis. She spent from 1997-2005 as the Sammarina A after which she took on the name of Gramosti. She is listed on with a status of "Dead" and as far as I have been able to make out is currently for sale somewhere in Romania.

On the same day the Balearia ferry Pau Casals sailed into Valencia. She's had more names than I have dinners in a week... She was built for Cenargo International as Dawn Merchant in 1998 and has been Europax Appia, Pau Casals, AVE Luebeck, T Rex(!), Norman Trader, Stena Alegra and now operates for Stena as M/F Kaiarahi. As Pau Casals in 2008 she was involved in a scare when the bow door alarm sounded during rough seas whilst heading to Barcelona. The doors were closed but a locking pin had become disengaged.

The Acciarello double-decked car ferry in the Straits of Messina, on 7 July 2008. Built in 1997 in the Netherlands as Prins (Prince) Johan Friso as one of a pair of ferries crossing the Western Scheldt - the estuary of the Scheldt river in the Zeeland province of south-western Netherlands. Prins Johan Friso operated until 2003 in the Netherlands at which point a tunnel was opened for traffic underneath the Western Scheldt and both the ferries were sold to an Italian company. Prins Johan Friso became Acciarello and operated between Messina on Sicily and Villa San Giovanni on the Italian mainland.

The Princess Cruise Line's Royal Princess in Livorno, Italy in July 2008. This was the second of three ships of that name to be operated by Princess Cruises, so if anyone is going "Huh???" right now, then this could be why! She was built in 2001 for Renaissance Cruises as the last of eight "R" Class ships and was named R Eight (see what they did there?) Renaissance went bankrupt in 2001 and the ship was laid up before joining Swan Hellenic as Minerva II. The company had named her after their previous ship: Minerva. She transferred to Princess Cruises in 2007, becoming the second of their ships to be named Royal Princess. She transferred to P&O in 2011 and was given her current name Adonia. In 2013 two of her passengers were shot during a robbery in Bridgetown, Barbados.

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