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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Royal Caribbean's Song of Norway

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (which later became Royal Caribbean International) was the dream of three Norwegian shipping companies - I.M. Skaugen S/A, Anders Wilhelmsen and Gotaas Larsen. With the financial strength of the 3 companies, Royal Caribbean was formed and an order for 3 new ships was placed with Wartsila Shipyard in Helsinki Finland.

On December 2, 1969, the first ship was launched at the Wartsila Helsinki Shipyard - The Song of Norway. On November 7th, 1970, The Song of Norway left Miami on her maiden voyage.

The new sleek and modern cruise ship proved to be very popular. Passenger enjoyed the Viking Crown Lounge located high in the funnel, which provided passengers a panoramic view of the sea and ports. The lounge was accessible via a set of stairs located on the back side of the funnel.

The Song of Norway was quickly followed by 2-sister ships -the Nordic Prince and Sun Viking,

In 1978, RCCL was looking for an quick and economical way to expand their capacity and meet the immediate demand for their cruises. The Song of Norway headed back to Wartsila for an operation that would cut the ship in half, insert an 85 foot mid-section and then the bow section and stern section were reattached to the new midsection. This was the largest undertaking for this type procedure and the first time it was done on a cruise ship.

  • Dimension ------------As Originally Built --------After Lengthening
  • Weight: ------------------ 18,416 Tons --------------- 23,000 Tons
  • Length: ------------------------552 ft ------------------------- 638 ft
  • Beam: ------------------------ 78.61 ft ------------------------ 78.61 ft
  • Passenger Capacity: ------- 724 -------------------------- 1,196

The ship sailed regularly on 7 and 14 days cruises from Miami. After Royal Caribbean added larger and newer ships, the Song of Norway was deployed to other ports, including seasonal 7 day cruises from New York to Bermuda.

In 1996, after serving 26 years with Royal Caribbean, The Song of Norway was sold to Sun Cruises part of the Airtours/MyTravel Group. Her cruises were now primarily in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

The Song of Norway assumed many identities in the years following her time with Royal Caribbean. Subsequent names include the Song of Norway, Sundream, Dream Princess, Dream, Clipper Pearl, Clipper Pacific, Festival, Ocean Pearl.

Her last employment was in October of 2011 for Happy Cruises before Happy Cruises ceased operations. In October, the ship was placed in temporary layup. Currently at the age of 42, the Ocean Pearl (Song of Norway) is in Tilbury, UK available for immediate sale or charter.


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