Atlantic Star (cruise ship)

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Sky-Wonder---Villefranche.jpg
Sky Wonder at Villefranche, November 2007.
Career
Name: Antic (2013)
Atlantic Star: 2009-2013
Sky Wonder: 2006-2009
Pacific Sky: 2000-2006
Sky Princess: 1988-2000
FairSky: 1984-1988
Owner: Pullmantur Cruises: 2006-2012
P&O Cruises Australia: 2000-2006
Princess Cruises: 1988-2000
Sitmar Cruises: 1984-1988
Port of registry:  Malta
Builder: La Seyne-Sur Mer , France
Christened: March 1984
In service: 1984–2013
Identification: IMO number: 8024026
Fate: Broken up
General characteristics
Tonnage: 46,087 GT
Length: 240 m (790 ft)
Beam: 29.8 m (98 ft)
Draft: 8 m (26 ft)
Decks: 11
Installed power: Three steam turbines; 29,500 shp
Speed: 19.8 knots (36.7 km/h; 22.8 mph) (service)
21.8 knots (40.4 km/h; 25.1 mph) (maximum)
Capacity: 1,250 passengers
Crew: 600

Atlantic Star (formerly FairSky, Pacific Sky, Sky Princess and Sky Wonder) was a cruise ship built in 1984. Laid up for years, the ship was handed over to STX France as a partial payment for the new Oasis-class cruise ship. Later, she was reportedly sold to a shipbreaker in Aliağa, Turkey, and renamed Antic.

History[edit]

FairSky was built in 1984 by Chantiers de Nord et de la Mediterranee of La Seyne-Sur Mer in France for the Italian cruise company Sitmar Cruises. In keeping with the rest of the Sitmar fleet she was originally named Fairsky and was registered in Liberia. In September 1988, when Sitmar was purchased by P&O Cruises, she was renamed the Sky Princess for P&O's Princess Cruises subsidiary and re-registered in London.

In October 2000, she was transferred to P&O Cruises Australia under the name Pacific Sky. Replacing the 1957-built Fair Princess, Pacific Sky's modernised facilities made her popular with Australian cruise passengers. Between 2000 and 2006, Pacific Sky carried 275,000 passengers on 200 cruises. Her popularity prompted the expansion of the P&O Australia fleet to include Pacific Sun (2004), Pacific Dawn (November 2007), Pacific Jewel (2009) and Pacific Pearl (2010).

In May 2006, the transfer from P&O Cruises Australia to Pullmantur Cruises in Spain was made, after a series of 33 seven-day cruises based out of Singapore. Sky Wonder was registered in Valletta, Malta. The Italian-built Regal Princess took Sky Wonder's place in the P&O Cruises fleet in mid-2007 as the Pacific Dawn. From March 2009 on, Sky Wonder was laid up in Piraeus. In April 2009, she was renamed Atlantic Star and sailed for the Portuguese market.

In January 2010 the vessel was sold to Kyma Ship Management who was planning on replacing the steam turbines with diesel engines.[1] It was speculated that she would be operating on charter for a German tour operator as Mona Lisa previously did.[2] Until March 2013, the vessel was moored in Marseille, France.[3]

In January 2013, it was announced that the ship had been transferred to STX France as part of the deal with the new order of the Oasis-class cruise ship ordered by Royal Caribbean International. In March 2013 it was reported that the ship had departed under tow for Suez, Egypt, unknown if she is on her way to the ship breakers at Alang, India or for accommodation in Jeddah.[4] On 14 April 2013, Atlantic Star arrived the shipbreaking yard in Aliaga, Turkey, under the name Antic.

General characteristics[edit]

Promenade deck on the Sky Wonder

Atlantic Star was 240.4 metres (789 ft) in length and 29.8 metres (98 ft) in width at her widest point. Her draft was approximately 8.5 metres (28 ft), but this figure varies with respect to the amount of stores, fuel and water on board. The size of a cruise ship is expressed in gross tonnage, which is actually a measurement of the vessel's volume and not the actual weight. Atlantic Star measured 46,087 GT.

Atlantic Star was powered by steam turbines and was one of the last steam turbine cruise ships in the world. While at sea, she operated on two or three boilers depending on the speed required. When two were in use, she could achieve a maximum speed of 19.8 knots (36.7 km/h; 22.8 mph); when all three boilers were in use, she could steam at a maximum of 21.8 knots (40.4 km/h; 25.1 mph). At full speed, she would consume up to 220 tonnes of fuel oil a day.

The vessel had two fixed pitch propellers and a single rudder. She was fitted with one bow thruster and one stern thruster for maneuvering at ports

Atlantic Star was fitted with two retractable stabilizer fins, which could be extended either individually or together depending on the sea conditions. Each fin was 4 metres (13 ft) long and 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) wide. They were controlled by hydraulic rams and were fed information from gyroscopes which sense the vessel's rolling motion. When in use, they could reduce the amount of the vessels roll by up to 85% but they had no effect on the ship's pitching motion.

Atlantic Star had two anchors. Each anchor weighed nine tonnes and was attached to approximately 80 tonnes of anchor chain.

Incidents[edit]

Atlantic Star has been involved in many incidents during her career. Some are listed below in chronological order.

  • January 2002 - Lorenzo Lombardo, 21, of Greenacre, died after contracting meningococcal disease during a nine-day Pacific island cruise on the Pacific Sky.[citation needed]
  • January 2005 - Pacific Sky was due to begin a scheduled cruise off the Indian coast, but could not sail after a swarm of jellyfish blocked a cooling water intake. The engines had automatically shut down, leaving the vessel stuck fast at its Brisbane River berth. The shutdown also triggered the automatic dumping of vast quantities of distilled water used by the ship's boilers - and a fresh supply had to be trucked.[5]
  • April 1, 2005 - P&O Cruises was forced to cancel another two Pacific Sky cruises to allow extended work on the ship’s troublesome starboard gearbox. P&O Cruises said the two-month layoff would lead to the cancellation of five cruises but was confident problems would have been fixed in time for its scheduled June 4 cruise.[6]
  • March 7, 2006 - Hundreds of passengers on a seven night cruise were left stranded for about 30 hours after the vessel broke down in the Malacca Strait near Singapore. About five hours after leaving Singapore the ship experienced problems with its starboard engine and came to a halt with more than 1300 passengers on board. Crew tried to fix the problem but were unsuccessful.[7]
  • January 18, 2007 - Early in the morning, the Sky Wonder with 1600 passengers ran aground on a sandbar in the Rio Plata, 3 kilometres from the port of Buenos Aires, Argentina. There were no injuries other than a heart problem suffered by a 50 year old male passenger, who was treated ashore. The ship was freed by tugboats at high tide several hours later, so she could reach her destination of Punta Del Este, Uruguay.[8] She was chartered for CVC Cruises at the time. The grounding was reported to be a navigational error, made by her captain.[9]
  • March 25, 2008 - Sky Wonder once again ran aground whilst attempting to berth in the Turkish resort of Kusadasi. The port was experiencing moderately high winds and choppy seas at the time. One of the tugs in attendance malfunctioned, and subsequently control was lost, allowing the vessel to drift towards the shore. According to unverified rumours, Sky Wonder's reverse gear was out of order at the time. Shortly after drifting, she grounded at the entrance to the adjacent marina. The local tugs were unable to move her, with one almost capsizing and throwing a number of her crew into the water in the process. Assistance was requested from the nearby ports of Izmir and Bodrum. Help arrived the next day in the form of two similar tugs, however, these too proved insufficient, with all attempts at recovery being unproductive. After lying in a precarious position for more than three days, only some fifty metres from the rocks at the entrance to the marina and one-hundred metres from the shore, the Sky Wonder was eventually pulled to safety in the early hours of Saturday March 29, 2008.[citation needed]

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