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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Look Back At One of My Favorite Ships - Greek Line's Olympia.

Greek Line's 1953 built Olympia was one of my Favorite ships. Her maiden voyage was April 16, 1953. Built by Alexander Stephen & Sons, on the River Clyde.
Operating on transatlantic voyages between New York and Piraeus, Greece, the ship was very popular but the competition from air travel quickly eliminated these longer voyages. By the early 1970s she spent most of her time cruising. Due to the high price of fuel and her fuel hungry engines, the Olympia was laid up at Piraeus in 1974. After the collapse of Greek Line in 1975 the ship was up for sale.

In 1981, the Olympia was bought by Sally Shipping and refitted with diesel engines replacing the steam turbines. As part of her refit, her streamline funnel was replaced with a less appealing series of pipes hidden behind a 1/2 rainbow. The Olympia, now renamed Caribe I, she started sailing again in 1983 under the Commodore Cruise Line banner.

The Caribe I's funnel was later replaced with a more traditional smoke stack, returning her appealing lines. In 1993 she was sold to Regal Cruises and renamed Regal Empress sailing the Port Manatee, Florida in the winter and New York in the Spring, Summer and Fall. As a fall out of the events of September 11th, 2001, Regal Cruises went into Bankruptcy and the ship was immediately put up for sale.

She was later sold to Imperial Majesty Cruises for Overnight Cruises to Nassau from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She replaced the OceanBreeze which was in need of repairs and had lived a long and profitable career. The Regal Empress sailed for Imperial Majesty Cruises until March, 2009 at which time she was sold to Indian scrappers. The ship was sold for just over $3.073 Million dollars. She proceeded to the Bahamas, where she offloaded miscellaneous items and prepared for the final voyage to India. She left Freeport in the Bahamas on March 28th 2009 for the one way trip to Alang India.

1 comment:

  1. I sailed in SS Olympia back in 1960 as 12 years old girl with my parents and brother from Haifa port to New York. Maybe I have some photos. I'll go look for them.