Ocean Dream (1972 ship)

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Launching 1972.jpg
Spirit of London being launched in 1972.
Flag of Norway.svgNorway
Name: Seaward (failed name)
Owner: Norwegian Cruise Line
Ordered: Klosters Rederi A/S
Builder: Cantiere navale di Riva Trigoso
Yard number: 290
Laid down: 1970
Acquired: Never
Identification: IMO number: 7211517
British Red EnsignUnited Kingdom
Name: Spirit of London
Owner: P&O Cruises
Port of registry: London,  United Kingdom
Launched: 11 May 1972
Completed: 11 October 1972
Acquired: 30 March 1971
Maiden voyage: 11 November 1972[1]
Fate: Transferred to Princess Cruises 1974
Notes: First diesel powered P&O's liner
Name: Sun Princess
Owner: Princess Cruises
Port of registry: London, Blue Ensign of Great Britain (1707-1800).svg United Kingdom
Acquired: 1974
Fate: Sold to Noel Shipping Ltd./Premier Cruises 1988
Name: Starship Majestic
Owner: Premier Cruises
Route: Port Canaveral to Bahamas
Acquired: 22 September 1988
Fate: Chartered to CTC Lines 1994. 19 December 1996, Premier Cruises sold vessel to Bowyers Maritime Corporation.
Notes: Renamed Majestic, followed by $6 million refit in Lloyd Werft shipyard, later renamed Starship Majestic Also operated as a Disney Cruise during this time.
Name: Southern Cross
Owner: CTC Lines
Port of registry: Nassau,  Bahamas
Acquired: July 1995
Identification: Call sign: C6HK9
Fate: sold to Festival Cruises 1998
Notes: In February 1995, the ship sailed from the Caribbean to Birkenhead in order to be refitted by Coast Line.
Owner: Bowyers Maritime Corporation
Acquired: 1996
Fate: Reported sold on 15 January 1997 to Festival Cruises for $25 million.
Name: Flamenco
Owner: Festival Cruises
Acquired: 1997
Fate: Sold to Cruise Elysia 2004 for $12.25 million
Notes: $9 million 45 day refit to meet the Festival standard.
Name: New Flamenco
Owner: Cruise Elysia
Acquired: 2004
Fate: Sold to Club Cruise 2008 for £26 million
Name: Flamenco I
Owner: Club Cruise
Port of registry: Panama City,  Panama
Acquired: 2008
Fate: Sold at auction 2010 for $3.4 million
Notes: Callsign : 3EAO9
Flag of Sierra Leone.svgSierra Leone
Name: Ocean Dream
Owner: Runfeng Ocean Deluxe Cruises
Route: Haikou, China to Halong Bay, Vietnam
Acquired: 2012
Notes: Call Sign: 9LY2427
Flag of Togo.svgTogo
Name: MV Ocean Dream
Owner: Ocean Dream Cruise (Thailand) Co. Ltd.
Route: Pattaya, Koh kong, Sihanoukville
Acquired: 2013
Notes: Call Sign: 5VBW6
Flag of Panama.svgPanama
Name: MV Ocean Dream
Owner: Shanghai Eastime Ship Management
Acquired: March 2014
Fate: Abandoned for over a year by owners and sank off Laem Chebang Port in Thailand 27 February 2016
Status: The Ocean Dream remains on her side in the port of Laem Chabang in Thailand awaiting scrappers to either dismantle the ship, or allow her to slowly deteriorate.
Notes: Call Sign: 5VBW6
General characteristics
Type: Cruise ship
Tonnage: 17,042 GRT[2]
Length: 163.30 m (536 ft)[3]
Beam: 22.80 m (75 ft)[3]
Draught: 7.0 m (23 ft)
Installed power: 4 × FIAT diesel engines
Speed: 20.5 knots (38.0 km/h; 23.6 mph)
Crew: 390

Spirit of London was an Italian built cruise ship put into service in 1972. In January 2012, Runfeng Ocean Deluxe Cruises (Chinese: 香港润峰豪华邮轮公司) took over as operator, renaming the ship Ocean Dream (Chinese: 海洋之梦; pinyin: hăiyángzhīmèng).[4]

Delayed construction[edit]

The vessel was originally ordered in 1970 by Norwegian Caribbean Line as Seaward. The shipyard, Cantieri Navali del Tirreno & Riuniti, encountered financial troubles and was consequently taken over by the IRI Group, who canceled the building contract of Seaward. After much protest from NCL the IRI Group agreed to partially complete the vessel. Despite this Norwegian Caribbean sold the hull to P&O, who would complete the Seaward as Spirit of London.[5]

Due to being originally ordered for Norwegian Caribbean Line Spirit of London had a sister ship in the NCL fleet, Southward. Both vessels superstructures are identical, however the funnels differed. Although Southward is smaller in tonnage than Spirit of London, both are 537 feet long.[6]


In 1974, P&O bought Princess Cruises and transferred Spirit of London to their fleet, with Princess operating her as Sun Princess, alongside Island Princess and Pacific Princess.

1988 saw the sale of Sun Princess by P&O to Premier Cruises, where it was initially named Majestic, becoming Starship Majestic in 1989 which included refurbishment of her interior. The majority of the Columbo episode "Troubled Waters" was filmed in the interior of the ship, creating a video time capsule (1975) of the ships history before her refurbishment. During this time Premier Cruise Line became the licensed partner cruise line with Disney. In 1994, she was purchased by CTC and was renamed Southern Cross. She was renamed again in 1998 when Festival Cruises began operating her as Flamenco.

Southern Cross in Copenhagen, Denmark 1995.

When Festival Cruises collapsed in 2004,[citation needed] she was sold for $12.25 million at a bankruptcy auction to Cruise Elysia, who renamed her New Flamenco. In 2007 Club Cruise acquired New Flamenco.[7] Club Cruise had New Flamenco serve as a hotel ship in New Caledonia until they failed in late 2008. The vessel was sold for scrap after over a year of lay up off Singapore.[8] In 2012 the ship was saved from the scrapyard and was renamed Ocean Dream with a dragon painted on her bow. Now owned by Runfeng Ocean Deluxe Cruises, she began operating cruises from Haikou, China to Halong Bay, Vietnam.[9][10]


The ship capsized and sank off Laem Chabang, Sri Racha,Thailand in shallow water on 27 February 2016 after having been abandoned without crew or maintenance for about a year.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

The ship appeared in the 1975 Columbo episode "Troubled Waters", guest starring Robert Vaughn, as well as in Herbie Goes Bananas (1980). The majority of the "Troubled Waters" was filmed in the interior of the ship, creating a video time capsule of the ships history from the start of her life. She was also featured in the original 1976 TV movie of The Love Boat and at least one episode involving a competition between Captain Stubing of Pacific Princess and the captain of Sun Princess. In addition, the ship appeared briefly in the 1975 episode of Starsky & Hutch entitled "Terror on the Docks".

External links[edit]


  1. ^ P&O Heritage
  2. ^ "Ocean Dream (7211517)"Free registration required. Equasis. French Ministry for Transport. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Asklander, Micke. "M/S SPIRIT OF LONDON". Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Haikou-Vietnam cruise route to be resumed with 'Ocean Dream' cruise liner". What's On Sanya. 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2013-12-23. 
  5. ^ "FlamencoPCs". Simplonpc.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  6. ^ "Rio: Rio Cruises". Ship Parade.com. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  7. ^ "Spirit of London - Sun Princess - StarShip Majestic - Southern Cross - Flamenco - New Flamenco". Simplonpc.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  8. ^ "Alang Autumnal". Maritime Matters. 2010-11-20. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  9. ^ "OCEAN DREAM Spirited To Haikou". Maritime Matters. 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  10. ^ "Haikou-Vietnam cruise route to resume service". whatsonsanya.com. 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2012-01-15. []
  11. ^ Abandoned cruise ship Ocean Dream capsized and sank off Thailand. Maritime News, 27 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-27.