|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2011)|
MS Empress, featuring Pullmantur livery, in the Port of Helsinki, Finland. 15 May 2013.
|Name:||1990—2004: Nordic Empress
2004—2008: Empress of the Seas
2008 onwards: Empress
|Owner:||Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.|
|Operator:||1990—2008: Royal Caribbean International
2008-present: Pullmantur Cruises
|Port of registry:||1990—2002: Monrovia, Liberia
2002—2008: Nassau, Bahamas
2008 onwards: Valletta, Malta
|Builder:||Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Saint-Nazaire, France|
|Identification:||IMO number: 8716899|
|General characteristics (as built)|
|Length:||210.81 m (691.63 ft)|
|Beam:||30.70 m (100.72 ft)|
|Draught:||7.10 m (23.29 ft)|
|Installed power:||2 × Wärtsilä-Duvant Crepelle diesels
combined 16,200 kW
|Speed:||19.5 knots (36.1 km/h; 22.4 mph)|
|Capacity:||1,850 passengers|
MS Empress is a cruise ship operated by Pullmantur Cruises. She was formerly operated by Royal Caribbean International as Nordic Empress and Empress of the Seas. The ship was ordered by Admiral Cruise Lines and was intended to be called the Future Seas and join the other Admiral ships, the Azure Seas and the Emerald Seas. However, when Royal Caribbean merged with Admiral in 1987, the Admiral brand was dissolved and the newbuild (still under construction) was incorporated into the Royal Caribbean fleet. A few signature Royal Caribbean brand elements were added, including the Viking Crown and Windjammer Cafe.
The ship was originally named Nordic Empress and was the final Royal Caribbean ship whose name did not end with "of the Seas". The name was changed to match the rest of the fleet following an extensive rebuilding that ended on 8 May 2004.
Nordic Empress was the first mainstream cruise ship especially designed for the 3 and 4 day cruise market. Her initial itinerary was a short cruise to the Bahamas, which was then combined with 3 and 4 day cruises from San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1999, following the sale of the Song of America, the Nordic Empress took over the New York to Bermuda route.
In 2000, Royal Caribbean announced that the Nordic Empress would be undertaking a series of cruises in South America. Shortly after these cruises were put on sale, Royal Caribbean decided to replace the Nordic Empress with the Splendour of the Seas on the South American itineraries, leaving the Nordic Empress in the Caribbean.
In June 2001 "Nordic Empress" suffered engine room fire damage. Although Royal Caribbean reported that the fire was extinguished by the sprinklers, Coast Guard reports indicated a 3 hour firefight. Actress Tina Fey and then recently married husband Jeff Richmond were reportedly on board at the time. The incident was recounted in Fey's autobiography, Bossypants.
On 26 March 2007, it was reported that in March 2008, the Empress of the Seas would be transferred to the fleet of Royal Caribbean's subsidiary Pullmantur Cruises. Her final voyage for Royal Caribbean took place on 7 March 2008. The maiden voyage as Empress for Pullmantur Cruises took place on 15 March 2008.
In November 2012, the Empress was the first of the fleet to receive a brand new logo as well as new hull color scheme, it is not known at the moment when the rest of the fleet will receive the new rebranding.
- Asklander, Micke. "M/S Nordic Empress (1990)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 2008-08-02.
- "Royal Caribbean International's Empress of the Seas to Join Pullmantur Fleet" (Press release). Royal Caribbean International. 26 March 2007. Retrieved 13 May 2011.