||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (April 2009)|
1986—1993: Fridtjof Nansen
1993—1994: Italia I
1994—1998: Italia Prima
1998—2002: Valtur Prima
|Owner:||1948—1960: Swedish America Line
1960—1985: VEB Deutsche Seereederei
1985—1989: Neptunus Rex Enterprises
1994—2002: Nina Cia. di Navigazione
2002—2004: Festival Cruises
2004—present: Nina SpA
|Operator:||1948—1960: Swedish America Line
1960—1966: VEB Deutsche Seereederei
1966—1985: VEB Deutsche Seereederei (summer seasons)/Stena Line (winter seasons)
1985—1994: laid up/rebuilt
1994—1995:Nina Cia. di Navigazione
1995—1998: Neckermann Seereisen
1998: laid up
1998—2001: Valtur Tourist
2001—2002: laid up
2002—2004: Festival Cruises
2004—2005: laid up
2005—2013 : Classic International Cruises
2013-present: Portuscale Cruises
|Port of registry:||1948—1960: Gothenburg, Sweden
1960—1985: Rostock, East Germany
1985—1989: Panama City, Panama
1989—2004: Naples, Italy
2004—present: Madeira, Portugal
|Builder:||Götaverken, Gothenburg, Sweden|
|Launched:||9 September 1946|
|Christened:||9 September 1946|
|Acquired:||7 February 1948|
|In service:||21 February 1948|
|Identification:||Swedish Official Number 8926 (1948)
Italian Official Number 1749 (1993)
IMO number: 5383304
|Status:||Under refit in Marseille, France.|
|General characteristics (as built)|
|Length:||160.08 m (525 ft 2 in)|
|Beam:||21.04 m (69 ft 0 in)|
|Draught:||7.90 m (25 ft 11 in)|
|Installed power:||2 × 8-cylinder Götaverken diesel engines
8,900 kW (12,000 hp) (combined)
|Speed:||17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)|
|General characteristics (currently)|
|Installed power:||2 × Wärtsilä 16V32
10,700 kW (14,300 hp) (combined)
|Speed:||19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)|
Until 2012, the ship was operated by Classic International Cruises, as the Athena. In 2013, it was transferred to Portuscale Cruises and renamed Azores. She was ordered in 1944, and launched 9 September 1946, as the Stockholm by Götaverken in Gothenburg for the Swedish America Line (SAL). Since her career with SAL she has sailed under the names Völkerfreundschaft, Volker, Fridtjof Nansen, Italia I, Italia Prima, Valtur Prima and Caribe, before beginning service as the Athena.
As Stockholm she was best known for colliding with the Andrea Doria in 1956, resulting in the sinking of the latter ship.
At 525 feet (160.02 m) with a gross register tonnage of 12,165 register tons, Stockholm was the smallest passenger ship operating on the North Atlantic route at the time. However, she was the largest passenger ship built in Sweden at the time. Originally designed to carry 395 people, a 1953 refit expanded Stockholm's capacity to 548 people.
Collision with Andrea Doria
On the night of July 25, 1956, at 11:10 PM, in heavy fog in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Nantucket, the Stockholm and the Andrea Doria of the Italian Line collided in what was to become one of history's most notorious maritime disasters.
Although most passengers and crew survived the collision, the larger Andrea Doria luxury liner capsized and sank the following morning. Owing to the collision, 50% of the Andrea Doria's lifeboats were unusable. However, a number of ships responded and provided assistance, which averted a massive loss of life.
Five crewmembers on the Stockholm were killed instantly and several more were trapped in the wrecked bow. Despite its having sunk about three feet (0.9 m), the crippled Stockholm helped in the rescue and ended up carrying 327 passengers and 245 crewmembers from the Andrea Doria, in addition to her own passengers and crew. After Andrea Doria sank, Stockholm sailed to New York City under her own power and arrived on July 27. The crushed bow portion was repaired at a cost of US$1 million three months later.
History after the collision
On 3 January 1960, the Stockholm was sold to the East German government, who renamed the ship Völkerfreundschaft and operated her as an ocean liner until 1985. In 1985 she was transferred to a Panamanian company "Neptunas Rex Enterprises". Her name was reduced to Volker, and by the end of the year she was laid up in Southampton, England. She was later used as a barracks ship in Oslo for asylum seekers in Norway under the name Fridtjof Nansen.
The Stockholm was sold to Italian interests in 1989 and towed to Genoa, the Andrea Doria's home port. When she first arrived, the press called the Stockholm the "ship of death" (La nave della morte). She was rebuilt from the waterline up and given a modern cruise ship design. Named the Italia I, then Italia Prima, she later sailed as Valtur Prima primarily to Cuba, and was laid up there in 2001. Acquired by Festival Cruise Line in 2002 and renamed Caribe she continued to sail to Cuba.
On 3 December 2008, Athena was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden. There were reported to be 29 pirate boats surrounding the ship at one stage until a US Navy P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft circled above which led some of the pirates to flee. The crew prevented the pirates from boarding by firing high pressure water cannons at them. No one was injured and the ship escaped without damage and continued on her voyage to Australia.
On 17 September 2012 reports announced that she and her fellow ship Princess Danae were detained in Marseille, France for outstanding fuel bills, it was also announced the Arion was said to be detained in Montenegro for similar issues.
Early in 2013, Athena was bought by the recently created Portuguese cruise company Portuscale Cruises and renamed Azores. As soon as her acquisition was confirmed she was taken to a shipyard in Marseille where she is currently under a revamp awaiting to enter Portuscale Cruises service once she has completed a charter to Berlin-based Ambiente Kreuzfahrten from whom she was to be charter to from Classic International to join her fleetmate Princess Daphne. The charter begins in March 2014 with a cruise from Lisbon, Portugal to Bremerhaven, Germany and concludes in November 2014 in Genoa, Italy.
In 2015 she is scheduled to enter long-term service with Cruise & Maritime Voyages with a maiden voyage from Avonmouth Docks to the Caribbean in January 2015. All crewing and ship management services will be handled directly by Cruise & Maritime Voyages. 
|Lotus Pool Grill||210||Calypso|
|Calypso Show Lounge||480||Calypso|
|Muses Night Club||80||Promenade|
|Tychon Card Room||40||Calypso|
|Other leisure areas||Deck|
|Open leisure amenities||Deck|
- Asklander, Micke. "M/S Stockholm (1948)". Fakta om Fartyg (in in Swedish). Retrieved 2008-02-27.
- "SAL Timeline". A tribute to the Swedish American Line. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
- "Search results for "5383304"". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
- Langmaid, Aaron (2008-12-04). "Pirates attack luxury cruise ship bound for Australia". Herald sun. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
- "CIC Ships Arrested - Cruise Industry News | Cruise News". Cruise Industry News. 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
||This article uses bare URLs for citations, which may be threatened by link rot. (June 2014)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Athena.|
- Classic International Cruises' page on the Athena
- Goldberg, Mark H. (2002). Ship Profile - MS Caribe. CruisePage.com. Accessed June 6, 2005.
- Ljungström, Henrik. Stockholm. The Great Ocean Liners. Accessed June 6, 2005.
- SS Maritime page detailing the name changes with photos
- "Athena" – review by Douglas Ward in The Daily Telegraph, London.
- for the German Cruise Line - Ambiente Cruises to 2014