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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Epirotiki Line's Atlas - A Flash Back in Time.

Today I am going back in time to a Mediterranean and Greek Island favorite - the Atlas of Epirotiki Lines.

Originally built as the Ryndam for Holland America in 1951, the Ryndam was sold to Epirotiki in 1972. She underwent a refit which modernized both her interior and exterior. The modest sized ship, weighing 15,000 ton and measuring 503 feet long, was idea for smaller Greek, Cypriot and Turkish ports. She operated with Epirotiki until 1986.

The Atlas was sold to buyers who repurposed her as a floating casino in Gulfport Mississippi. Originally named the Pride of Mississippi, Pride of Galveston and finally the Copa Casino, by 1993 she permanently moored dockside in Biloxi Mississippi, open to gamblers.

The Port Authority of Gulfport had considerable concerns with the ship serving as a stationary casino and what could potentially happen if a hurricane or large storm swept though the area.

As the years passed additional structures were built on the outer decks of the ship and a large marquis was placed on the side of the ship, damaging her modern lines.

Finally in late 2002, the Copa Casino was sold to scrappers in India. Under tow, the ship was first taken to the Dominican Republic but she never made it. Off the coast of the Dominican Republic the Copa Casino (ex Atlas) sank on March 16, 2003.

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  1. The Atlas was chartered by American Express Travel during the 1976-77 winter season for Caribbean cruises out of Florida. It was a disaster. A boiler blew up, people were injured, ports were missed and the ship was barely allowed to continue sailing by its insurers. Definitely not what American Express travelers expected!

  2. My husband and I were on the Atlas in September 1988, cruising the Greek islands , Ephesus Turkey, and Istanbul. No mishaps. I think your 1986 date is incorrect.