MS Formosa Queen
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (April 2009)|
1970–1997: Song of Norway
|Owner:||1970–1997: Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
1997–2004: Airtours Sun Cruises
2004–2006: Tumaco Navigation
2006–2007: Lance Shipping
2007–2009: Pearl Owner Ltd.
2009-2012: International Shipping Partners
2012-2013: Formosa Queen Corp.
|Operator:||1970–1997: Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
1997–2004: Airtours Sun Cruises
2004–2007: Caspi Cruises
2008: Peace Boat
2009: Caspi Cruises
2010-2011: Quail Travel Group
2012-2013: Asia Star Cruises
|Port of registry:||1970–1997: Oslo, Norway
1997–2004: Nassau, Bahamas
2004–2006: Limassol, Cyprus
2006–2009: Nassau, Bahamas
2009-2012: Majuro, Marshall Islands
2012-2013: Panama City, Panama
|Builder:||Wärtsilä Helsinki Shipyard, Finland|
|Launched:||2 December 1969|
|Acquired:||5 October 1970|
|In service:||7 November 1970|
|Identification:||Call sign: 3FLU9
IMO number: 7005190
MMSI number: 538003398 → 373524000
|Fate:||Sold for scrap|
|General characteristics (as built)|
|Length:||168.32 m (552.23 ft)|
|Beam:||23.96 m (78.61 ft)|
|Draught:||6.70 m (21.98 ft)|
|Installed power:||Four 9-cylinder Sulzer-Wärtsilä diesel engines,
14,560 kW (combined)
|Speed:||20.5 knots (38.0 km/h; 23.6 mph)|
|General characteristics (currently)|
|Length:||194.32 m (637.53 ft)|
|Beam:||24.00 m (78.74 ft)|
|Notes:||Otherwise same as built|
MS Formosa Queen (formerly Song of Norway, Sundream, Dream Princess, Dream, Clipper Pearl, Clipper Pacific, Festival, Ocean Pearl) is a former cruise ship and floating casino that has been sold for scrap. She was one of the first modern cruise ships, entering operation in 1970.
The vessel originally had a gross tonnage of 18,000 tons, and could carry 724 passengers. Following the 1978 refit, she was lengthened by 85 feet, to provide for 1024 passengers and increasing her size to 23,000 gross tons.
The vessel was constructed in Helsinki, Finland in 1970. Named Song of Norway, she was the first ship built for cruise line Royal Caribbean International. The vessel was lengthened in 1978, due to the high demand for cruising, and sailed on seven- and fourteen-day cruises out of Miami. As Song of Norway she was the first vessel to service the Royal Caribbean proprietary resort of Labadee, Haiti.
In 1996, surpassed by the significantly larger ships in the Royal Caribbean International fleet, the ship was sold to Sun Cruises part of the Airtours/MyTravel (which has now merged with Thomas Cook AG), who operated the vesel under the name Sundream.
In November 2007 the ship was sold to Pearl Owner Ltd., a company in the Bahamas-based Clipper Group of Denmark, which put the management of the ship in the hands the Miami, Florida based company International Shipping Partners, Inc. (ISP). After refitting in Turkey and Malta, the ship was chartered to the Peace Boat organization and renamed the Clipper Pacific. The ship was in service touring the world, from Japan to Japan, as part of Peace Boat's mission. After numerous repeated problems with the ship, however, the world tour was broken off in Piraeus, Greece. Afterwards, the ship was sold to ISP and renamed to Festival. She came into service again as a cruise ship, first in 2009 for Caspi Cruises and as of 2010 for Quail Travel's Happy Cruises. Quail Travel has renewed the charter for the 2011 season. The charter ended when Happy Cruises ceased operations.
In 2009 she was used on Mediterranean voyages, under the name Festival, as a stand in by the Israeli company Caspi Cruises, whose own advertised voyages on smaller vessels had booked to overcapacity. For the 2010 and 2011 seasons, under the name M/V Ocean Pearl, the ship has been chartered by Quail Travel's Happy Cruises. The Ocean Pearl was on a cruise but had to terminate it in Malaga, Spain due to Happy Cruises ceasing operations on September 24, 2011.
In early 2005 Sundream was being refitted in Piraeus under the name Dream Princess. The ship was sailing on four-night cruises from Haifa to Alanya, Rhodes and Larnaca. Some itineraries also included Marmaris and Santorini. In January 2006 the vessel was used to house students from Tulane University after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
September 2007 listing
On September 18, 2007, while anchored in the port of Rhodes the cruise ship developed a 10 degrees list. She was immediately evacuated and four officers who were on duty at the time of the incident were detained. The crew was accused of deliberately grounding the vessel to prevent further listing and an ultimate sinking. Divers investigating the incident discovered that hatchways in the hull designed for discharging untreated waste into the ocean, had been crudely plugged with chunks of wood, to prevent the discharge. That kept the waste on board. Failure to pump the waste in a timely manner, resulted in the listing of the vessel.
The list was eventually corrected but on 18 November 2007, due to strong winds, Dream Princess came loose of her moorings and collided with an adjacent cargo ship causing minor damages in both vessels. The coast guard managed to tow the cruise ship back to the dock using tug-boats.
Dream Princess remained in the port of Rhodes for nearly two months until her seaworthiness was re-established. On November 28, 2007 she was towed to the port of Kusadasi.
July 2008 detainment
On July 16, 2008, the Clipper Pacific was detained in New York by the United States Coast Guard for numerous safety violations including a leaking hull. She remained in New York and was not allowed to leave until repairs were made. Further extensive repairs were made in dry dock in Tampa, Florida, where inspectors found new safety problems.
Late 2008 she was laid up in Istanbul, Turkey for engine repairs.
In April 2012, MS Ocean Pearl was sold for use in China as a floating casino, after International Shipping Partners, the former owner of the MS Gemini and the MS Ocean Pearl, issued a statement saying that both ships would be available for sale or charter after the insolvency of Happy Cruises. She was renamed Formosa Queen and operated by Asia Star Cruises.
- "Bureau Veritas". VeriSTAR. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
- (Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Song of Norway (1970), retrieved 2010-01-07.
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- "M.S. Ocean Pearl - Main Details | Happy Cruises". Happycruises.eu. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
- "(Un) Happy Cruises Ceases Operations". MaritimeMatters. 2011-09-25. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Song of Norway Cruise Ship Postcards". Simplonpc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "Dream Princess Listing Near Dodecanese Island Of Rhodes Greece - September 18, 2007". Cruisebruise.com. 2007-09-18. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- [dead link]
- (2008-07-16). "Cruise ship detained in New York Harbor | 7online.com". Abclocal.go.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- JapanNewbie » Peace Boat Voyage Continues says: (2008-07-30). "Clipper Pacific Departs Tampa After Extensive Repairs". Coast Guard News. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- Cruise Junkie. "Events at Sea". Cruisejunkie.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- "OCEAN PEARL Sold, GEMINI Chartered". Maritimematters.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "ISP Issues Statement on Happy Cruises". Cruiseindustrynews.com. 2011-09-28.
- Dake, Shawn (19 November 2013). "Former SONG OF NORWAY Sold For Scrap". Maritime Matters. Martin Cox. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Ship Demolitions 17/11/2013. Ship Scrapping List. Retrieved on 2013-11-17.
- Professional ship photos from shipspotting.com
- Postcards and other pictures
- e-CruiseWorld: MS Dream Princess homepage