MS Celestyal Olympia

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Kuşadası (3) (cropped).JPG
Celestyal Olympia in 2015.
  • 1982–1999: Song of America[1]
  • 1999–2005: Sunbird
  • 2005–2012: Thomson Destiny
  • 2012–2014: Louis Olympia
  • 2014 onwards:Celestyal Olympia
Port of registry
Ordered1 November 1979[3]
BuilderWärtsilä Hietalahti shipyard, Helsinki, Finland[1]
Cost$ 140 million[4]
Yard number431[1]
Laid down17 February 1981[2]
Launched26 November 1981[2]
Completed9 November 1982[2]
Acquired11 November 1982[1]
In service5 December 1982[1]
General characteristics (as built)[1]
TypeCruise ship
Length214.51 m (703 ft 9 in)
Beam28.41 m (93 ft 3 in)
Draught6.80 m (22 ft 4 in)
Installed power
PropulsionTwin propellers[4]
Speed21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Capacity1,575 passengers
General characteristics (as Thomson Destiny)
Capacity1,664 passengers

MS Celestyal Olympia is a cruise ship owned by the Cyprus-based Celestyal Cruises, formerly Louis Cruise Lines. In April 2012 she was named Louis Olympia after operating as the Thomson Destiny for Thomson Cruises.[5] She was built in 1982 at Wärtsilä Hietalahti shipyard in Helsinki, Finland for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as MS Song of America. Between 1999 and 2004 she sailed for Sun Cruises as MS Sunbird.[1] She was previously under charter to the United Kingdom-based Thomson Cruises until April 2012 as the MS Thomson Destiny. She has since sailed for Louis Cruises as MS Louis Olympia, and as MS Celestyal Olympia since 2014.

Concept and construction[edit]

Thomson Destiny at Gran Canaria in 2007.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines had operated throughout the 1970s with three ships that had been built at the Wärtsilä Hietalahti shipyard in Helsinki, Finland. Two of these had been lengthened towards the end of the decade, but due to increased demand RCCL decided to order a larger new ship, again from the Wärtsilä Helsinki shipyard.[6]

For the interior layout of their new ship RCCL decided to adapt a system with cabins to the fore of the ship, furthest from engine noise, and public spaces to aft. This layout was widely used on ferries built by the Wärtsilä shipyard, but has been rarely used for cruise ships.[6] The public spaces on decks five and seven were built with 1½ times the standard deck height, leading to deck 6 only existing in the forward part of the ship.[7]

The Song of America was launched from drydock on 26 November 1981. Following fitting out she was delivered to her owners on 11 November 1982.[1]


1982–1999: Song of America[edit]

Following a voyage across the Atlantic, the Song of America entered service with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines on 5 December 1982 on a cruise from Miami to Nassau, San Juan and St. Thomas. This remained her main itinerary for the early parts of her career with RCCL.[1][6]

1999–2005: Sunbird[edit]

Sunbird laid up.

In May 1998, the Song of America was sold to Sun Cruises (owned by Airtours) for $94.5 million (recognized gain on the sale was $31.0 million). Sun Cruises then chartered the ship back to RCCL until March 1999.[citation needed] Unlike with earlier ships the RCCL sold, the 'sky lounge' around the ship's funnel was not removed before she was handed over to the new owners.

The ship was renamed MS Sunbird,[1][6] rebuilt with additional suites on deck 9[citation needed] and used for cruising around Europe, mainly in the Mediterranean. Later during her Sun Cruises service the ship received MyTravel colours.[1][6] In 2004, Airtours decided to withdraw from the cruise business, and the Sunbird was sold to Louis Cruise Lines, who chartered her back to Sun Cruises until May 2004.[1]

2005–2012: Thomson Destiny[edit]

Following the end of her charter to Sun Cruises, Louis Cruise Lines chartered the Sunbird to Thomson Cruises, who renamed her MS Thomson Destiny.[1] With Thomson, the ship was used for cruising in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Canary Islands and the west coast of Africa. In the winter of 2009 she cruised in the Caribbean.[citation needed]

2012–2014: Louis Olympia[edit]

Thomson Destiny returned to Louis Cruises in April 2012 and started operating under its new name Louis Olympia.[8] She is used on Aegean cruises, to the Aegean Island and the Turkish coast, with its home port being Piraeus.

2014: Floating hotel[edit]

Louis Olympia was used as a floating hotel during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

2014 onwards: Celestyal Olympia[edit]

As part of Louis Cruise Lines re-branding in late 2014, the ship was renamed Celestyal Olympia with an updated livery, to reflect the new corporate identity.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all cruises from March 16, 2020 to March 6, 2021 have been suspended.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Asklander, Micke. "M/S Song of America (1982)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Thomson Destiny (12706)". DNV Vessel Register. DNV. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  3. ^ "Det Norske Veritas". Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Ward, Douglas (2008). Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships. Singapore: Berlitz. pp. 654–655. ISBN 978-981-268-240-6.
  5. ^ "Maritime Matters". Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e Boyle, Ian. "Song of America". Simplon Postcards. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  7. ^ "Thomson Destiny Deck Plans". Thomson Cruises. TUI UK. Retrieved 29 January 2009.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Seatrade Insider". Archived from the original on 9 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Celestyal Cruises voluntarily extends suspension of cruise operations until 2021". Celestyal Cruises. 30 June 2020.

External links[edit]