MS Sunward (1966)

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Sunward at Pier A (7562495404) (cropped).jpg
MS Sunward in Key West in 1970
  • MS Sunward (1966-1972)
  • Ile de Beauté (1973-1977)
  • SS Grand Flotel (1977)
  • Saudi Moon I (1978-1980)
  • Saudi Arabian (1984-1988)
  • Ocean Spirit (1988-1990)
  • Scandinavian Song (1990-1993)
  • Santiago de Cuba (1993-1994)
  • The Empress (1994-2003)
  • Empress (2003-2004)
  • Kloster Sunward Ferries (1966)
  • Norwegian Cruise Line (1966-1976)
  • Compangnie Generale Transméditerranéenne (1973-1977)
  • Eastern Gulf, Inc. (1977)
  • Amar Line (1978-1984)
  • Sabah Maritime Services Co. (1984-1988)
  • Ocean Spirit Shipping Ltd. (1988-1993)
  • Ferry Charter Ltd. (1990)
  • SeaEscape Cruises Ltd. (1990,1993)
  • Danish Cruise Line (1991-1993)
  • SeaEscape Cruises Ltd. (1993)
  • Chartered Arch Shipping (1993-1994)
  • Empress Cruises Ltd. (1994-2003)
  • Jaisu Shipping (2003-2004)
  • Kloster Sunward Ferries (1966)
  • Norwegian Caribbean Line (1966-1972)
  • CTGM (1973-1976)
  • SNCM (1976-1977)
  • Eastern Gulf, Inc. (1977)
  • Saudi Shipping & Maritime Co. Ltd. (1978-1984)
  • Sabah Maritime Services Co. (1984-1988)
  • Ocean Quest International (1988-1993)
  • International Shipping Partners (1991-1993)
  • Chartered Arch Shipping (1993-1994)
  • Empress Cruises Ltd. (1994-2003)
  • Jaisu Shipping Company, Ltd. (2003-2004)
Port of registry:
  • Panama Panama City(1966-1973)
  • France France (1973-1977)
  • United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates (1977)
  • Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia (1978-1984)
  • United States United States (1988-1990)
  • The Bahamas Bahamas (1990-1993)
  • Unknown(1993-1994)
  • Unknown(1994-2004)
Ordered: 1966
Builder: Bergens Mekaniske Verksted
Yard number: 455
Laid down: July 1965
Launched: 24 March 1966
Acquired: 20 June 1966
Maiden voyage: 25 June 1966
In service: 1966
Out of service: 2004
Identification: IMO number: 6610663
Fate: Sold for scrap in 2004
Status: Scrapped
General characteristics
Tonnage: 10,558 tons
Length: 443 feet
Decks: 7
Installed power: 9,700kW
Propulsion: Two B&W 12-42VT2BF - 90 Diesel
Speed: 20 knots
Capacity: 558
Crew: 220

MS Sunward was a cruise ship built in 1966 for Kloster Sunward Ferries and then later on with Norwegian Cruise Line. She served with NCL and was chartered to Compangnie Generale Transméditerranéenne in 1973, and later on with other companies.



In 1966, Knut Kloster and founded Kloster Sunward Ferries, and ordered a 8,666 ton ship from the Norwegian shipyard Bergens Mekaniske Verksted. Launched on 24 March 1966 she entered service with Kloster on route between Southampton - Vigo - Lisbon - Gibraltar. By November of the same year Kloster Sunward Ferries shut down due to the unsuccessful service that it had, Nonetheless representatives from Silja Line were looking at the ship with a possible purchase, but backed off the vessel due to Sunward not having an ice class. In December 1966 she moved to Miami and entered into service for Norwegian Cruise Lines, a joint-venture between Knut Kloster and Ted Arison.[1]

The Sunward was such an immediate success that Norwegian Caribbean expanded to a four ship fleet with the addition of the Starward in 1968, Skyward in 1969 and Southward in 1971.[2]

Later years[edit]

After six years in service with NCL- carrying vehicles and passengers- she was sold off to Compagnie Generale Transmediterranee (CGTM), formerly the Mediterranean arm of Compagnie Generale Transatlantique (French Line). Sunward arrived in Marseille, France where she was renamed Ile de Beaute, and entered service with CGTM by 1973 and briefly with SNCM. Eastern Gulf, Inc. bought the Ile de Beaute from SNCM since the ship was too small for the fleet, and was converted for hotel use in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates in 1977.

In 1979, she was sold to Amar Line, a joint venture between the Monaco-based Vlasov Group and the Saudi entrepreneur Gaith Pharaon. She was renamed Saudi Moon I and entered service between Jeddah and Suez. She continued as such until 1988 when she was chartered to an American company called Ocean Quest Cruises who renamed her Ocean Quest.[3]

In 1994, ISP chartered her to a Danish company owned by the Cosulich family of Italy. She was renamed Santiago de Cuba and began operating cruises, albeit the service was not successful and soon she was chartered to Empress Cruises Ltd. which use her for short cruises from Port Klang until 2003 when she was yet sold again to Singaporean company Jaisu Shipping while her name was still intact. After 38 years in service with multiple companies over the years, she was finally sold off to the breakers in 2004.


  1. ^ "What Happened to the NCL Sunward? - Cruise Critic Message Board Forums". Retrieved 2015-06-27. 
  2. ^ "< Nick's Cruise Corner >: Norwegian Cruise Line's First Ship - Sunward". 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2015-06-27. [unreliable source?]
  3. ^ "What Happened to the NCL Sunward? - Cruise Critic Message Board Forums". Retrieved 2015-06-27. 

External links[edit]