|Owner:||Teal Shipping S.A.|
|Port of registry:|
|Builder:||A.G. Weser, Werk Seebeck|
|Laid down:||1 January 1967|
|Completed:||30 November 1968|
|Out of service:||2018|
|Status:||being sent for scrap to alang as of july'18|
|Length:||160.11 m (525 ft 4 in)|
|Beam:||22.84 m (74 ft 11 in)|
|Draught:||6.7 m (22 ft 0 in)|
|Speed:||16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)|
The Louis Aura is a 16,000-ton cruise ship built in 1968 at the AG Weser shipyard in Bremerhaven, West Germany. The ship has twelve decks, eight of which are accessible to passengers. As currently[when?] configured she can accommodate 876 passengers in 349 cabins, of which 336 are staterooms and 56 are suites. She is currently operating cruises in the eastern Mediterranean.
From 1968 until 1995, the Louis Aura was operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines as the Starward, and was their first purpose-built ship along with her near identical sister, the Skyward. The M/S Starward was featured in the 1975 movie Peeper starring Natalie Wood and Michael Caine. After 1995, she was operated as the Bolero by Greek line Festival Cruises until the company's collapse in 2004  when she was purchased for $9.5 million by Abou Merhi Lines and received a $10–$15 million renovation.
In November 2005 the ship was repositioned in Dubai to begin what was an unsuccessful Persian Gulf cruise program, providing the first luxury cruise line service between Dubai and Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The ship was then positioned in Beirut and scheduled to begin a 2006 cruise season in the Mediterranean Sea. In November 2006, she was supposed to begin service from Port Canaveral, Florida, operated by Paradise Caribbean Cruise Line.
In July 2006, the Louis Aura was used to help evacuate United States citizens from Lebanon because of the ongoing conflict with Israel. The Louis Aura was escorted by the USS Gonzalez (DDG-66), a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer, and the USS Barry (DDG-52). It took the evacuees to the port of Larnaca in Cyprus.
In 2012 and 2013 the Louis Aura, named as Orient Queen, has sailed to the Greek Isles from Limassol, Cyprus and Piraeus, Greece. Under the flag of Malta, the ship was owned and operated by the Cyprus-based company Louis Cruises.
For the summer season of 2014, the ship executed 3/4/5/6 & 7 day cruises to the Greek isles departing from Limassol, Cyprus.
In 2017, the Turkish travel agency Etstur chartered the ship. At the end of May 2017, the ship was renamed Aegean Queen after more than a year's layover and returned to service in July 2017. Since October 2017, the ship is again out of service near Piraeus. With her 49 years of service, she was one of the longest-serving cruise ships in the world.
- "Louis Aura 2013". Retrieved 8 March 2014.
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- "MS Orient Queen". Choosing Cruising. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/NCLPCs1.html#anchor476968 Norwegian Caribbean Line - First Generation Cruise Ships
- "Sealetter Cruise News Miscellaneous". sealetter.com. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- "orient queen - Cruise Reviews Forums". cruise-chat.com. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- "Cruise Ships List, Cruise Companies / Updated May 26, 2015". cybercruises.com. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- Description Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine..
- "FORMER LOUIS AURA SOLD FOR SCRAP". Cruise & Harbour News Magazine. 21 May 2018. Retrieved 7 Jun 2018.
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