MS Insignia

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Insignia (ship, 1998) IMO 9156462; in Split, 2011-10-01; (1).jpg
Insignia in Split, Croatia, October 2011.
  • R One (1998–2003)
  • Insignia (2004–2012)
  • Columbus 2 (2012–2014)
  • Insignia (2014–present)
  • Renaissance Cruises (1998–2001)
  • laid up (2001–2002)
  • Oceania Cruises (2003–2012)
  • Hapag-Lloyd (2012–2014)
  • Oceania Cruises (2014-Present)
Port of registry:
Builder: Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire, France
Cost: GB£150 million
Yard number: H31
Completed: 1998
Acquired: November 1998
In service: 1998
Status: Operational
Notes: [1][2]
General characteristics
Class and type:
Length: 180.45 m (592.0 ft)[3]
Beam: 25.73 m (84.4 ft)
Draught: 5.95 m (19.5 ft)
Decks: 9 (passenger accessible)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 propellers
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
  • 684 passengers (lower berths)
  • 824 passengers (all berths)
Crew: 400
Notes: [1][2]

MS Insignia is the lead ship of the R class of cruise ships built for Renaissance cruises. She is now owned by Oceania Cruises as part of its Regatta Class of ships, but recently sailed for Hapag-Lloyd as the Columbus 2. She was built in 1998 by the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France for Renaissance Cruises as MS R One.[4] On December 11, 2014, 3 crew members died in a fire that broke out in the engine room when the ship was docked in St. Lucia. [5]

Concept and construction[edit]

Renaissance Cruises had begun operations in 1989, with a series of eight small luxury cruise ships constructed during the course of the next three years. In the mid-90s the company placed an order for eight identical 30,277 GT vessels with Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in France. The first ship in the series, MS R One, was delivered in June 1998, followed by R Two in November of the same year.

Lease to Hapag-Lloyd[edit]

Beginning in April 2012, MS Insignia began what was initially announced as a two-year lease to Hapag-Lloyd, which renamed the ship Columbus 2.[6]

Reports announced that Hapag-Lloyd had decided that after 2014, they would not renew the charter of the Columbus 2, in favor of focusing their luxury product.[7] Insignia rejoined the Oceania fleet in May 31, 2014.[8]

Engine Fire[edit]

On December 11, 2014 whilst alongside in Castries, St. Lucia, MS Insignia experienced a major fire in her engine room. Two contract workers and one crew member, working in the engine room at the time, lost their lives. The resulting damages made it necessary to end the voyage started just 4 days prior in Miami.[9] All passengers were disembarked and flown to their home towns. After minor repairs to restore power, MS Insignia was towed to San Juan, Puerto Rico where she was fully repaired.

The ship was back in service by March 22, 2015 to start a world cruise from Singapore. The delayed departure date for the cruise resulted in a heavily modified itinerary, although many of the principal cruise destinations were still visited.[10]

Gallery of the ship As Columbus 2[edit]

MS Insignia as the MS Columbus 2 in Pula, Croatia, May 2012. 
MS Insignia as the MS Columbus 2 in Tallinn, July 2013. 




External links[edit]

Media related to Insignia (ship, 1998) at Wikimedia Commons