Celestyal Cristal

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MS Cristal.jpg
MS Cristal in Istanbul, 2010
Career (1980-1990)
Name: 1980–1986: Viking Saga
1986–1990: Sally Albatross
Owner: 1980–1982: Rederi Ab Sally
1982–1989: Suomen Yritysrahoitus
1989–1990: Partrederiet Sally Albatross[1]
Operator: 1980–1986: Rederi Ab Sally (in Viking Line traffic)
1986–1990: Sally Cruise[1]
Port of registry: 1980: Turku,  Finland
1980–1982: Mariehamn,  Finland
1982: Helsinki,  Finland
1982–1990: Mariehamn,  Finland[1]
Ordered: 22 December 1978[1]
Builder: Wärtsilä Turku New Shipyard, Turku, Finland[1]
Yard number: 1247[1]
Launched: 4 January 1980[2]
Christened: 20 March 1980[1]
Acquired: 26 June 1980[1]
In service: 27 June 1980[1]
Out of service: 9 January 1990[1]
Identification: IMO number: 7827213[1]
Fate: Destroyed by fire while in drydock in Nacka, Sweden. Completely rebuilt, 1990-1992 (technically considered the same ship).
Status: Remains in service as of 2008, see below.
General characteristics (as built, 1980)[1]
Class & type: Viking Saga class cruiseferry
Tonnage: 14,330 GT
2,874 DWT
Length: 145.18 m (476 ft 4 in)
Beam: 25.49 m (83 ft 8 in)
Draught: 5.51 m (18 ft 1 in)
Ice class: 1 A Super
Installed power: 4 × Wärtsilä-Pielstick 12PC2-5V-400 diesels
19,124 kW (combined)
Speed: 21.3 knots (39.4 km/h; 24.5 mph)[2]
Capacity: 2,000 passengers
1,300 berths
426 cars[2]
General characteristics (as rebuilt, 1988)[1]
Tonnage: 15,179 GT
2,774 DWT
Length: 149.96 m (492 ft 0 in)[2]
Capacity: 1,016 passengers
1,016 berths
Notes: Otherwise the same as built
Career (1992 onwards)
Name: 1992–1995: Sally Albatross
1995–2000: Leeward
2000–2002: SuperStar Taurus
2002–2006: Silja Opera
2006–2007: Opera
2007–2011: Cristal
2011-2014: Louis Cristal
2014 onwards: Celestyal Crystal
Owner: 1992: Sally Oy Ab
1992–1995: Silja Line
1995–2002: Crown Jewel, Inc
2002–2006: Silja Cruise
2006–2007: Sea Containers Ltd
2007–2007: Citron Navigation Corp.
2007–2007: Opera Acquisition, LLC
2007–2012: Citron Navigation Corp.
2012 onwards: Cristal Trading Opco LLC[3]
Operator: 1992: Sally Cruise
1992–1994: Silja Line
1995–2000: Norwegian Cruise Line
2000–2002: Star Cruises
2002–2006: Silja Line
2007 onwards: Louis Cruise Lines[1]
Port of registry: 1992–1995: Mariehamn,  Finland
1995–2002: Panama City,  Panama
2002–2006: Stockholm,  Sweden
2006–2007: Nassau,  Bahamas[1]
2007–2012: Piraeus,  Greece
2012 onwards: Valletta,  Malta[3]
Ordered: 22 December 1978[1]
Builder: Finnyards, Rauma, Finland[1]
Yard number: 309[1]
Laid down: 1990[1]
Launched: 25 July 1991[4]
Christened: 25 July 1991[1]
Acquired: 23 March 1992[1]
Maiden voyage: 23 March 1992[1]
In service: March 1992[1]
Identification: Call sign: 9HA2978
IMO number: 7827213
MMSI number: 229001000
Status: In service
General characteristics (as rebuilt, 1992)[1]
Tonnage: 25,076 GT
25,611 GT (after 1995)
1,703 DWT
Length: 158.88 m (521 ft 3 in)
Beam: 25.20 m (82 ft 8 in)
Draught: 5.60 m (18 ft 4 in)
Decks: 9 (passenger accessible), with 476 cabins[5]
Propulsion: 2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)
Capacity: 1,452 passengers
1200 passenger (after 1995)
950 passengers (after 2000)
1,409 passengers (after 2002)[4]
Notes: Otherwise the same as built

Celestyal Crystal, previously named Louis Cristal is a cruise ship owned and operated by the Cyprus-based Celestyal Cruises, formally known as Louis Cruise Lines. The ship was originally built as the cruiseferry MS Viking Saga in 1980 at Wärtsilä Turku New Shipyard, Turku, Finland for Rederi Ab Sally. In 1986 she was renamed MS Sally Albatross, and rebuilt into a cruise ship the following year. The ship was destroyed by a fire in 1990, and completely rebuilt at Finnyards, Rauma, Finland. She was re-delivered in 1992, still named Sally Albatross. After partially sinking 1994 she was rebuilt at Industrie Navali Maccaniche Affini, La Spezia, Italy, re-entering service as MS Leeward for Norwegian Cruise Line. Subsequently she sailed as MS SuperStar Taurus for Star Cruises, MS Silja Opera for Silja Line and spent a year laid up as MS Opera prior to entering service with her current owner in 2007.[1]

Although the 1980 ship and the 1992 ship appear superficially unalike both externally and internally, they share the same IMO number because they are technically the same ship.[1]

History[edit]

Viking Saga[edit]

The ship was originally built in 1980 for Rederi Ab Sally, one of Viking Line partners as the cruiseferry MS Viking Saga. The ship's hull was built in Wärtsilä's Turku shipyard, and towed from there to the nearby Perno shipyard to be fitted out.[2]

MS Viking Saga in original appearance and livery.

In 1979-1981 the Baltic ferry operators Silja Line and Viking Line brought several new cruiseferries to the routes connecting Stockholm to Helsinki and Turku. Viking Line received a total of four new ships in 1980 alone, three of which were built for Rederi AB Sally. The Viking Saga and her sister ship MS Viking Song were built by Wärtsilä (now Aker Finnyards) in Turku, Finland. MS Viking Sally (later MS Estonia) was built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Two of the Sally ships have been involved in a total of three serious accidents. The Viking Saga was the first genuine cruiseferry in Finland — Sweden traffic. The interior and exterior design of her and her sister was heavily influenced by those of GTS Finnjet of 1977, but with far less attractive results. The Viking Saga and Viking Song, alongside Silja Line's contemporary MS Finlandia and MS Silvia Regina, were instrumental in turning the Helsinki — Stockholm route into a popular cruise route.

In June 1982, the ship was sold by Rederi Ab Sally to Suomen Yritysrahoitus, who chartered her back to Sally.[2] In 1985 the Viking Saga hit bottom near Sandhamn in the Stockholm archipelago, and had to be docked in Stockholm.[6]

Sally Albatross (I)[edit]

After MS Olympia replaced her on the Helsinki — Stockholm route in April 1986, the Viking Saga was rebuilt for use as a cruise ship at Wärtsilä Helsinki New Shipyard.[2] She did not become a "real" cruise ship as her cardecks were not built in. During conversion there was a fire on board, but it was extinguished by the shipyard staff.[6] Renamed Sally Albatross, the ship entered service for the new Sally Cruise brand in May 1986. She was mainly used for cruising around the Baltic Sea from Helsinki.[2]

MS Sally Albatross after the 1988 refit.

In 1987 Rederi Ab Sally was sold to its rivals Effoa and Johnson Line.[2] In January–February 1988 the Sally Albatross was comprehensively rebuilt at Schichau Seebeckwerft, Bremerhaven, Germany, where additional cabin were built on the former upper cardeck, the forward superstructure was built to a more streamlined appearance and smaller changes were made to the bow and other parts of the superstructure.[6] At the same time the ships livery was altered, in addition to the light and dark blue stripes running along the hull black stripes were painted along the windows of the superstructure, giving the ship an even more streamlined appearance. The cost of the reconstruction was 35 million Finnish markka.[2]

In January 1990, while docked at the Finnboda Shipyard in Nacka, Sweden, for reconstruction of the ship's restaurants, nightclub and conference facilities, practically the entire superstructure of the ship was damaged beyond repair by a fire which had started from drops of liquid metal sparkling on flammable material. The ships' sprinkler system was turned off for the duration of the docking, fire hydrants were dry and the temporary fire water supply was disconnected. In addition to this the fire watchman left for lunch during the hot work. Due to the danger of gas bottles (oxy-acetylene used in the reconstruction) exploding in the heat, the fire brigade withdrew from the interior of two decks under reconstruction, after having rescued the two crew members that were missing during the initial phase of the fire. Further fire fighting was conducted from the outside and from the decks above and below the reconstruction work. As a result the ship burned extensively for three days.

All workers and crew (and an American actress who had been on board) were rescued by the fire brigade and a crane operator from the shipyard and no lives were lost.[6]

Sally Albatross (II)[edit]

The burnt-out hull was first towed to Mäntyluoto, Finland, where she was partially scrapped, leaving only the hull below cardeck intact. After this the remains were towed into Naantali, Finland where the remaining hull was cut into several sections. These were then transported to Finnyards shipyard in Rauma, Finland where they were used as the basis of a new ship with the project name Sally Eurocruiser.[2] She was to be a genuine cruiseship, without a cardeck. The hull was lengthened by 13 meters compared to the original, and the passenger (cabin) capacity was increased by 452, so the new ship was actually larger than the old one.[4] One notable piece retained from the original ship were the engines.[2] The cost of the rebuilding was approximately 700 million Finnish markka.[4] In essence this was a completely new ship, and she is usually listed as such in most sources. Her owners decided to keep the name Sally Albatross, which has led to some sources (and many passengers) to consider the second Sally Albatross to be the same ship as the first.

Sally Albatross as she appeared after the 1992 rebuilding. The model is on display at the Finnish Maritime Museum.

The new Sally Albatross was delivered to Sally Cruise on March 23, 1992 and started doing cruises in the Baltic Sea with Helsinki as the port of departure, in a similar arrangement as she had done in the late 80's. In July of the same year she was chartered to Svea 92 (a Swedish consortium for advancing exports) as a hotel and conference ship for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona for 1 000 000 Finnish markka per day. Originally Svea 92 had wanted to charter Silja Line's Swedish-flagged MS Svea (which would have matched the name better). In September that same year Sally Albatross was transferred to Silja Line, who also were a part of the EffJohn concern. Despite joining the Silja fleet Sally Albatross' old colour scheme and Sally Cruise funnel colours were maintained.[4]

On March 4, 1994 Sally Albatross ran aground in the ice covered sea outside Porkkala. She was towed to shallow waters and her passengers evacuated. After this the ship was left on site, listing badly. While preparations were made to re-float her. Re-floating the ship proved to be a complicated process, and it was not until April 16 that the ship was afloat again. She was then towed to the abandoned Vuosaari shipyard (where she arrived on April 20) where the most necessary repairs were made.[7] After inspection it was determined that the cost to repair the damage would be around 200 million FIM ($35 million USD).[4]

Leeward / SuperStar Taurus[edit]

In October 1994 the ship was towed to La Spezia, Italy where she was repaired and rebuilt for international cruise traffic. She was then chartered to Norwegian Cruise Line who renamed her Leeward and put her on cruises in the Caribbean from July 1995 onwards. In March 2000 the ship was chartered for three years to Star Cruises (owners of Norwegian Cruise Line) who renamed her Superstar Taurus and used her on various cruises around Asia, mostly cruising from Japan. In December 2001 Star Cruises broke the charter contract and the ship was once again in the hands of Silja Line.[4]

Silja Opera departing Helsinki sometime between 2002 and 2005.

Silja Opera[edit]

Superstar Taurus sailed back to Europe, and between February and June 2002 she was vastly rebuilt at Luonnonmaan Telakka, Naantali, Finland for cruise service on the Baltic Sea. On June 1, 2002 the ship was renamed Silja Opera and placed under Swedish flag. Silja Opera (re)started cruising the Baltic Sea on June 29, 2002, with Helsinki as the starting point. She followed a similar itinerary as she had done as Sally Albatross, making one-day cruise from Helsinki and two-night cruises to Visby, Riga (discontinued after one season) and St. Petersburg.[4] The ship already had a reputation as a ship of bad luck amongst the public (she had after all burnt out completely once and partially sunk only a few years later, in addition to smaller mishaps), and this was not helped when in September 2003 she collided with three cargo-ships in St. Petersburg, resulting in minor damage to all parties. Less than two months later, in almost precisely same spot, she collided with a Russian icebreaker.[8]

In 2005 Silja Opera '​s livery was altered with additional blue stripes, resembling the livery she carried as Sally Albatross between 1992-1994.

Silja Opera's cruises from Helsinki were not very popular, and in October 2004 she began making cruises from Stockholm to Tallinn (via Mariehamn in order to have tax-free sales on board). These too failed to find popularity, and in February 2005 she was transferred back to cruising from Helsinki.[4] Around this same time her white-dominant livery was changed to one closely resembling her Sally-era livery, but with blue stripes instead of black. With the ship continuing to lose money, in September 2005 Silja Line made public its plans to use cheaper foreign workforce on board. However they could not do so under the terms Swedish maritime worker's collective labour agreement.[8] Two months later Silja Line decided to cut costs by concentrating on their core markets and the Silja Opera, alongside the prestigious GTS Finnjet, was to be sold.[8] In January 2006 Silja Opera made her last cruises from Helsinki, after which she was transferred to the Turku—Mariehamn—Kapellskär route in place of MS Silja Europa (that was in turn transferred to Helsinki—Stockholm route while the normal ships of that route were being rebuilt). On February 13, 2006 the Silja Opera stopped sailing for Silja Line, and three days later she was laid up Stockholm, waiting for potential buyers.[4]

On 22 May 2006 Silja Opera left Stockholm for the last time bound for lay up at Tilbury Docks, located to the east of Greater London. The ship arrived on May 25, soon afterwards the Silja Line markings were painted over and her ownership was transferred to SeaContainers, then the parent company of Silja Line. At the same time she was changed from Swedish to Bahamian flag and her name was shortened to Opera.[4]

Louis Cristal[edit]

In May 2007 the Opera was sold to the Cyprus-based Louis Cruise Lines to replace MS Sea Diamond that had sunk some months before. After rebuilding at Pireus, Greece the ship was renamed MS Cristal and started service for the Louis Hellenic Cruise Lines -brand in July 2007.[4]

Celestyal Crystal[edit]

In November 2014, as part of Louis Cruise Lines re-brand as Celestyal Cruises, the Louis Cristal, along with fleet partner, Louis Olympia, were renamed Celestyal Crystal and MS Celestyal Olympia and received a new livery to match.

Decks and facilities[edit]

As Viking Saga, 1980[edit]

  1. Engine room and other technical facilities
  2. Sauna, swimming pool, inside cabins, crew facilities, engine room and other technical facilities
  3. Car deck, outside cabins, crew facilities, storage rooms
  4. Car deck, outside cabins, crew facilities, storage rooms, technical facilities
  5. Car deck, outside cabins, crew facilities, sun deck
  6. Car deck, outside cabins, technical facilities
  7. Outside and inside cabins, reception, tax-free shops, Discothèque, restaurant, cafeteria, air seats
  8. Outside and inside cabins, bars, restaurants
  9. Crew facilities, conference rooms, night club, sundeck
  10. Crew facilities, technical facilities, sundeck
  11. bridge, sundeck[9]

As Sally Albatross, 1992[edit]

  1. Inside cabins
  2. Exhibition hall
  3. Outside and inside cabins
  4. Outside and inside cabins
  5. Outside and inside cabins, tax-free shops, reception, buffet restaurant, sun deck
  6. suites, outside and inside cabins, buffet restaurant
  7. Bridge, suites, outside and inside cabins
  8. Showroom (lower level), auditorium, conference rooms, casino, a la carte restaurant
  9. Showroom (upper level), bar, jacuzzis, swimming pool, sauna, restaurant, sun deck
  10. Bars, sundeck[10]

As Silja Opera, 2002[edit]

  1. Inside cabins
  2. Outside and inside cabins
  3. Outside and inside cabins, medical centre
  4. Outside and inside cabins, tax-free shops, reception, restaurant, sun deck, jacuzzi
  5. Suites, outside and inside cabins
  6. Bridge, suites, outside and inside cabins
  7. Showroom (lower level), tax-free shop, conference rooms, casino, restaurant
  8. Showroom (upper level), gym, sauna, children's playroom, jacuzzis, swimming pool, cafeteria, sun deck
  9. Bars, sundeck[11]

As Louis Cristal, 2007[edit]

  1. Outside cabins[12]
  2. Outside and inside cabins[13]
  3. Outside and inside cabins, medical centre[14]
  4. Outside and inside cabins, tax-free shops, internet center, reception, restaurant, sun deck, jacuzzi[15]
  5. Suites, outside and inside cabins[16]
  6. Bridge, suites, outside and inside cabins[17]
  7. Showroom (lower level), forum, casino, lounge, bar, restaurant[18]
  8. Showroom (upper level), wellness center, beauty salon, bar, jacuzzis, swimming pool, restaurant, sun deck[19]
  9. Discothèque, sundeck[20]

Suites[edit]

The 1992 ship's two suites are called Royal Suite and Presidential Suite. The first comes from when Sweden's Royal Couple lived there during the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics. The second was named after former US President George H. W. Bush stayed aboard in November 1995.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Malmberg, Thure; Stampehl, Marko (2007). Siljan viisi vuosikymmentä (in Finnish/English). Espoo: Frenckellin Kirjapaino Oy. pp. 284–286. ISBN 978-951-98405-7-4. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Asklander, Micke. "M/S Viking Saga (1980)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  3. ^ a b "Cristal - Summary". DNV Exchange. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Asklander, Micke. "M/S Sally Albatross (1992)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  5. ^ "Cruise ship: Cristal > Ship Specifications". Louis Cruise Lines. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  6. ^ a b c d (Finnish) Turun Sanomat article on the history of Silja Opera, retrieved 14. 7. 2007
  7. ^ (Finnish) Accident Investigation Board of Finland report on the sinking, retrieved 14. 7. 2007
  8. ^ a b c (Finnish)Sally Albatross / Silja Opera at Valkeat Laivat, retrieved 14. 7. 2007
  9. ^ "Extra material på M/S Viking Saga och M/S Viking Song". Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  10. ^ Koski, Sami. "m/s Sally Albatross 1992 deck plans" (PDF). Valkeat Laivat (in Finnish). Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  11. ^ Koski, Sami. "m/s Silja Opera 2002 deck plans" (PDF). Valkeat Laivat (in Finnish). Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  12. ^ "Cruise ship: Cristal > Decks plans > Deck 02". Louis Cruise Lines. Retrieved 2008-10-04. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Cruise ship: Cristal > Decks plans > Deck 03". Louis Cruise Lines. Retrieved 2008-10-04. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Cruise ship: Cristal > Decks plans > Deck 04". Louis Cruise Lines. Retrieved 2008-10-04. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Cruise ship: Cristal > Decks plans > Deck 05". Louis Cruise Lines. Retrieved 2008-10-04. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Cruise ship: Cristal > Decks plans > Deck 06". Louis Cruise Lines. Retrieved 2008-10-04. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Cruise ship: Cristal > Decks plans > Deck 07". Louis Cruise Lines. Retrieved 2008-10-04. [dead link]
  18. ^ "Cruise ship: Cristal > Decks plans > Deck 08". Louis Cruise Lines. Retrieved 2008-10-04. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Cruise ship: Cristal > Decks plans > Deck 09". Louis Cruise Lines. Retrieved 2008-10-04. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Cruise ship: Cristal > Decks plans > Deck 10". Louis Cruise Lines. Retrieved 2008-10-04. [dead link]

External links[edit]