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Monday, June 20, 2016

What Ever Happened to Home Line's Atlantic / MSC Cruises - MSC Melody

Home Line's Atlantic During Happier Times on a Cruise From New York to Bermuda.
Home Line's Atlantic During Happier Times on a Cruise From New York to Bermuda.

Ever wonder what happened to the popular Atlantic of Home Lines fame? The Atlantic was build for the ever popular Home Lines to sail from New York to Bermuda in the spring, summer and fall and the Caribbean in the winter. The ship is modest in size, at 33,000 tons - about 25% the size of the mega-ships today. Home Lines was a very popular cruise line which operated great ships like the Homeric, Oceanic, Italia and Doric.

With the sale of the Home Lines, the Atlantic was purchased by Holland America which in turn sold the ship to Premier Cruises. Under the Premier banner the Atlantic was renamed StarShip Atlantic running 3 and 4 day cruises from Cape Canaveral to the Bahamas. The cruises were sold in a package that usually included a stay at a Florida theme park.

Eventually the StarShip Atlantic was sold to MSC Cruises as one of their initial ships sailing in the Mediterranean and sometimes spending the winter in South Africa. As the MSC fleet grew and became more modern, the Melody was withdrawn from service and then later sold to a new start up cruise line in India.

Renamed Qing, the ships sailed a very short season and was laid up in a shipyard at Vasco Da Gama, India. The owners of the shipyard have gone bankrupt and the ship is sitting idle alongside a work pier.

Unfortunately it does not appear that there will be a cruise operator in her future and expect that in the end, the Qing will be towed across the bay to Alang, India for beaching and scrapping. I really do hope I am wrong.

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