MS Crown Iris
Crown Iris, in 2018
|Port of registry:|
|Builder:||Wärtsilä Marine/Kvaerner Masa-Yards, Turku, Finland|
|Launched:||15 November 1991|
|Christened:||29 July 1992|
|Acquired:||2 July 1992|
|Maiden voyage:||7 July 1992|
|General characteristics (as built|
|Length:||173.50 m (569 ft 3 in)|
|Beam:||27.60 m (90 ft 7 in)|
|Draft:||6.20 m (20 ft 4 in)|
|Ice class:||1A Super|
|Propulsion:||Two controllable pitch propellers|
|Speed:||20.5 knots (38.0 km/h; 23.6 mph)|
|Capacity:||1,056 passengers (1,256 maximum|
|General characteristics (after 1999 refit))|
|Length:||207.1 m (679 ft)|
|Draft:||6.20 m (20 ft 4 in)|
|Depth:||14 m (45 ft 11 in)|
|Decks:||9 (passenger accessible)|
|Speed:||20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
|Capacity:||1,460 passengers (1,970 maximum)|
|Notes:||Otherwise the same as built|
MS Crown Iris is a cruise ship owned by Mano Maritime. She was originally ordered by Birka Line as MS Birka Queen from the Wärtsilä Marine Turku Shipyard in Finland, but completed by Kvaerner Masa-Yards as MS Royal Majesty for Majesty Cruise Line. In 1997 she was sold to Norwegian Cruise Line as the MS Norwegian Majesty and lengthened by 33.76 m (110 ft 9 in) at the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany. She was sold to Louis Cruises as the MS Louis Majesty from 2008 to 2012 when she was chartered to Thomson Cruises as the MS Thomson Majesty before being returned to Louis Cruises/Celestyal Cruises, as the Majesty. In 2018 the ship sold to Mano Maritime.
Concept and construction
Birka Queen was ordered by Birka Line for short cruises out of Stockholm as a running mate to MS Birka Princess. The ship was ordered from Wärtsilä Marine, but the shipyard went bankrupt in 1989. Operations were soon reorganized under the name of Masa-Yards, but the price of the ship was increased in the process, and Birka therefore refused to take delivery. Instead, the build contact was sold to Majesty Cruise Line, who took delivery of the ship on July 2, 1992, renaming her Royal Majesty. Due to her past, the ship has some features uncommon for cruise ships, such as the highest Finnish-Swedish ice class.
Following delivery, Royal Majesty set on her maiden voyage, a transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York City, on July 7, 1992. She was officially christened in New York City on July 21, 1992. She was christened by Liza Minnelli. Following this, she was used on three- and four-night cruises out of Florida. In 1994 she initiated a new northern hemisphere summer season itinerary with cruises from Boston to St. George's, Bermuda, returning to Florida for the winter season. In September 1995 she participated in an expedition to the sinking site of RMS Titanic, spending five days at the site with many survivors from the famous ship on board, while parts of Titanic were being salvaged.
On June 10, 1995, Royal Majesty grounded on Rose and Crown Shoal about 10 miles east of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, and about 17 miles from where the watch officers thought the vessel was. Investigators found that the officers failed to act on visual cues about the vessel's location, over-relying on the automated bridge system. The vessel, with 1,509 persons on board, was en route from St.George’s, Bermuda, to Boston, Massachusetts. There were no deaths or injuries as a result of this accident. Damage to the vessel and lost revenue, however, were estimated at about $7 million.
Majesty Cruise Line ceased operations at the end of the 1997 summer season, and Royal Majesty was sold to Norwegian Cruise Line. She was renamed Norwegian Majesty, and in 1999 she received a 33.76 m (110 ft 9 in) lengthening at the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany. Similar lengthenings had been carried out on NCL's Dreamward and Windward the previous year. The lengthening of the Norwegian Majesty however was more technically complicated than those of the other ships, as she had not been designed for such an operation.
In 2004 the ownership of Norwegian Majesty was transferred to NCL's parent company Star Cruises in preparation for potential transfer to the Star Cruises fleet or sale at a later date. She remained in NCL service without other changes. On April 23, 2008 Norwegian Majesty, was sold to the Cyprus-based Louis Cruise Lines. Louis Cruise Lines had reportedly outbid International Shipping Partners with their offer of $162 million. The deal was completed on July 29, 2008, but Norwegian Majesty was chartered back to Norwegian Cruise Line until October 2009.
On June 24, 2009, Louis revealed that Norwegian Majesty would be renamed Louis Majesty. On March 3, 2010, three rogue waves hit Louis Majesty, killing two passengers, and injuring a number of others, while on a 12-day cruise around the Mediterranean. The waves, which were reportedly in excess of 26 feet (8 m) high, collided with the side of the vessel, smashing several windows in the saloon area. Water was taken on in the saloon area, which then drained down the decks below. The ship returned to port at Barcelona to receive repairs.
Louis Majesty was chartered to Thomson Cruises from May 2012 and renamed Thomson Majesty. It sailed from Corfu in the summer and the Canary Islands in the winter.
On February 10, 2013, while the ship was docked in Santa Cruz de la Palma in the Canary Islands, five crew members were killed and three others injured during a safety drill when the lifeboat they were in fell into the sea, trapping the occupants. Julian Bray, Marine Analyst in the UK, writing in the Cduck media news blog, confirms that crew were taking part in a training exercise to load, launch, and recover lifeboats, complete a regular risk/ safety programme and to ensure crew members have had recent practical training. Malta’s Maritime Safety Investigation Unit subsequently issued a safety alert following the discovery of significant corrosion on the inner strands of the fall wire involved. The wire rope had parted approximately where it rested over the topmost sheave, when the davit was in its stowed position. The fore and aft davit’s fall wires had been replaced on 22 August 2010 and the next scheduled replacement was due in August 2014.
In November 2017 she joined "Celestyal Cruises" and renamed simply as "Majesty".
Service as Crown Iris
In late 2018 the Majesty was sold to the Israeli cruise line Mano Maritime. In early 2019 the ship been refurbished and rebuild. Because of this process the ship length changed to 216 meters. The ship renamed Crown Iris.
Areas of operation
As Thomson Majesty she was based in Corfu, Greece and sailed in the Mediterranean from June–October, and during the winter sailed to the Canary Islands & Morocco.
As Crown Iris she was based in Haifa, Israel and cruise along the coasts of the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and to various destinations in Europe. Among its destinations are Venice, Kotor, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Santorini, Palermo, Nice, Dubrovnik, Rhodes, Crete, Larnaca etc.
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